Arthur Morris was just trying to have a smoke one night outside his Topeka home.
He was incredulous when three police officers arrived on his back porch.
No, he hadn’t called 911, he told them.
No, neither had his neighbors to report him yelling at his partner, Jeanie Becerra, because they hadn’t been yelling at each other.
(In fact, the Topeka police officers were there because of a 911 hangup, though they didn’t tell the couple that.)
One officer would not be deterred. He grabbed Morris, wrestled him to the ground and later landed 13 blows to his shoulder blades and arm, newly released body camera footage reveals.
“I didn’t do nothing wrong,” Morris can be heard yelling.
At other junctures, he cries: “I can’t breathe. I have asthma. ... I don’t stretch that far. Please stop. ... I didn’t do nothing wrong guys. You just ... threw me down for trying to light my cigarette.”
The footage, released publicly by the city for the first time this month, cleared Morris’ and Becerra’s names in the September 2014 incident. They had been convicted in Topeka municipal court on charges ranging from assaulting an officer, disobeying an officer, disturbing the peace and interfering with law enforcement.
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