UPDATE (6:32 p.m. 2/27/2020)
The city of East Lansing is livestreaming a meeting in which administrators are discussing an incident that questions police officers’ use of force in an incident outside of a 7-Eleven.
The livestream can be viewed here.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– An incident in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store prompted an internal investigation of the responding police officers’ use of force.
The East Lansing Police Department launched the investigation of potential excessive force after an early morning incident on Sunday February 9th. The victim, Uwimana Gasito, took photos of his facial wounds the morning after the incident and posted them on Friday.
Gasito says he says he went to 7-Eleven with a friend that night and were confronted by a couple, who followed them into the store and started an argument. He says East Lansing police officers were nearby and responded quickly, initially arresting his friend.
The victim started recording as his friend was placed into a police car. He says he stopped recording after police told him to back up, and claims multiple officers wrestled him to the ground to handcuff him and place him under arrest as well.
Gasito tells 6 News the officers were unnecessarily aggressive.
“I was really mad about the situation, because we did nothing wrong,” Gasito says. “We were just walking, grabbing a drink, got accused of something we didn’t do. And then all of a sudden we spent a night in a cell for something we didn’t do, and we’re getting charged with all this stuff we didn’t even know about.”
The East Lansing Police Department released a statement saying it takes the allegations seriously and will be investigating the incident. A special meeting of the East Lansing City Council will be called to publicly review the evidence and findings.
6 News will continue to follow this story and update it as we learn more and receive footage and documents from East Lansing Police.