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Video shows New Jersey man being choked and punched in the face by police



The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is under investigation, Dover Mayor James P. Dodd customs reporters Monday.

The incident took place around 2 a.m. Sunday morning in Dover, about 30 miles northwest of Newark, when Cyprian Luke and his friends were on their way to get a tattoo, according to CNN affiliate WABC TV.

"The Dover Police Department responded to a report that was wanted for aggravated assault was presented in the town of Dover," Dodd said. "The Dover PD positively identified the suspect as Cyprian Luke. Mr. Luke resisted police efforts to take him into custody." The video shows two officers on top of Luke; one appears to be choking the teenager with one hand and punching him repeatedly in the head with the other.

"You gonna roll over on your stomach?" one officer yells.

Luke was charged with two counts of violating a restraining order, one count of criminal and one count of contempt and one count of simple assault. Luke is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility.

CNN has reached out to Luke and the Dover Police Department, but has not heard back. It is not clear if Luke has obtained an attorney.

Luke spoke with WABC briefly about what happened.

"I know that there were multiple blows, there were multiple macs, after that they were dragging me to the ambulance, because I couldn't walk," said Luke.

His younger brother, Christopher, told WABC police didn't tell Luke they had a warrant for his arrest.

"They just tackled him to the ground. They pepper sprayed him," Christopher said. "He wasn't resisting at all. He was trying to cover his face, because they kept punching him."

Luke's mother, Mary, said she was devastated and emotional after viewing the video.

"I do not want that upon anyone to put through something like that because we know the police are supposed to help. I know that they do their job, but then again, I don't know. It's not supposed to to be with force like that, "she told WABC.

Said the investigation of the incident has been turned over to the New Jersey Attorney General's Office who is working in conjunction with the Morris County Prosecutor's Office.

"I understand that we live in the age of social media where there is a tendency to rush to judgment; however, given the independent investigation now, I urge everyone to show restraint until all of the facts come out and the independent investigation is completed, "Dodd said.

Dodd said he is proud of the "great strides" the Dover police have made under his current leadership and that he will "continue to stand by them."

"I won't let this incident blame the reputation of the entire force," he said.

CNN's Carma Hassan contributed to this report.


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