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ELPD releases findings of investigation

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Posted at 5:33 AM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 05:33:10-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The investigation into an alleged case of police brutality in East Lansing is complete Thursday night.

The East Lansing Police Department said there is not enough evidence to prove officers used excessive force.

During the meeting, East Lansing Police released not only their inconclusive findings in the investigation but also the police bodycam footage of the incident.

On Feb. 9, Uwimana Gasito was arrested for intervening police officers while they were doing an arrest. Several days later, Gasito posted photos to Facebook claiming that he was assaulted by police for recording his brother being arrested. He also claims he was unlawfully arrested.

The East Lansing City Council held a special meeting where ELPD shared the findings of their internal investigation along with the bodycam footage.

"Unfortunately, none of the videos show how the abrasion occurred and do not completely exonerate the officer from the allegation of excessive force. The videos do, however, confirm the statements of the officers involved that the individual was actively resisting arrest," said Larry Sparkes, ELPD Police Chief.

Several people came forward to say that the investigation was unfair.

"You can't have people judging themselves and investigating and be surprised and relieved that the investigation comes out that they committed no wrongs," said Christian Barbar, and East Lansing resident.

"It was definitely unfair because we didn't look at everything that happened we saw clips where it showed Tito being bad - it wasn't both ways. Like 'hey, the officers did this, this is what happened' so it was literally in their favor and that's not what you call evidence," said Farhan Sheikh-Omar, an East Lansing resident.

Police say they did what they had to do to control the situation.

Mayor Ruth Beier made a public statement saying she applauds the police department for conducting the investigation.

"I firmly believe in this case the East Lansing Police followed their procedure to the best they could to protect the rights they could of those who were arrested," Mayor Beier said,.

Police say that there was never any formal comment from Gasito claiming that he was assaulted.

"Mr. Gasito never claimed a use of excessive force by a police officer while he was in our custody of the East Lansing jail nor has he contacted our police department to make that claim as well," Sparkes said.

Fox 47 reached out to Gasito to see how he is doing now that the investigation is complete and hasn't gotten a response at this time.

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