German police beat an unarmed black man, wrestled him to the ground and kicked him, a video taken Thursday in a popular central district of Berlin appears to show.
The footage, taken by video company Redfish and posted on social media, shows a group of at least ten police officers – some holding the young man down, others ushering the crowds away – at the scene near Kottbusser Tor underground station in Kreuzberg.
While the 22-year-old man, who the police say is a suspect in the theft of a bicycle, is on the ground in a headlock, an officer gut-punches him and another kicks him.
One officer takes out his gun as he patrols the area and others use riot shields to move back the bystanders.
Berlin State Police office has opened an investigation to determine whether officers used excessive force during the confrontation, ABC reported.
Officials also released a statement describing their version of the events in the run up to the confrontation captured on the video.
Police said they contacted the man on Thursday following a tip that he had stolen a bicycle.
They did not say how the situation escalated to the point where the unarmed man was dragged down to the floor, kicked and punched in the gut.
The current state of the man’s health is unknown.
In the statement, which is titled ‘Three police officers injured’, the police acknowledge that the suspect was kicked by officers.They also said several officers at the scene were injured when a crowd started throwing flower pots, bottles and rocks.