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Beating captured on police video

A videotape shows police officers struggling with Nathaniel Jones.
A videotape shows police officers struggling with Nathaniel Jones.

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(CNN) -- The beating of a 350-pound black man by Cincinnati, Ohio, police officers Sunday was captured on videotape by a camera mounted on a squad car.

The incident began at 5:45 a.m. Sunday, when the manager of a White Castle restaurant called the Cincinnati Fire Department to report that a man was unconscious on the floor, said Lt. Kurt Byrd of the Cincinnati Police Department.

When paramedics arrived, they found Nathaniel Jones, 41, and a woman who was with him also in some sort of medical distress, Byrd said.

Jones regained consciousness, began acting strangely and left the restaurant, Byrd said.

At that point, following procedure, the fire officials called police.

The videotape shows a police cruiser arriving at the restaurant at 5:58 a.m., at which point the camera was switched off.

During the next few moments, which are not visible on tape, the two officers from the cruiser approached Jones in the parking lot of the restaurant, Byrd said.

The tape resumes rolling at 6 a.m. An officer is heard saying to Jones, "You gotta tell me what's going on."

Jones then says, "White boy, redneck," and the camera shows him lunge at the officer and attempt to put him in a headlock.

At that point, the two officers -- both of whom are white -- wrestle Jones to the ground and use their metal nightsticks to try to subdue him.

They appear to strike him around the shoulders and torso numerous times, yelling repeatedly, "Put your hands behind your back!"

Soon after, four more officers arrive, including one black officer. The word "Pepper!" is heard on the tape, an apparent reference to pepper spray.

The view of Jones, who is being subdued on the pavement just in front of the squad car, is obscured from the camera, which is mounted on the car's dash.

At that point, what sounds like "Help!" is heard repeatedly from the pile of men. It becomes progressively fainter with each utterance.

One officer says to another as they try to handcuff Jones, "That ain't gonna work, man."

Nathaniel Jones
Nathaniel Jones

The response: "We'll get him like this for now," and then, "Why don't we roll him?"

"We don't need another set," one man says, perhaps referring to a second set of handcuffs for the man. "We gotta get 'em back right."

By 6:03 a.m., the fight is over. The officers stand up and put away their nightsticks. Thirty seconds later, one asks that the paramedics be summoned, but the fire truck had already departed.

"He's got a pulse; he's just not breathing," the officer says.

At 6:05 a.m., the fire department paramedics return, and by 6:06 a.m. they appear to be attempting to resuscitate the man with CPR.

At 6:07 a.m., one officer is asked whether his camera is on, and he responds that he had turned off the microphone. Seconds later, the tape goes black.

Jones was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Byrd said. A preliminary coroner's reported indicated Jones had an enlarged heart and cocaine and PCP in his system.

It was not clear what happened to his companion.

The six police officers involved were put on administrative leave, standard procedure in cases in which a suspect dies in custody, Byrd said. (Full story)

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