April 1, 2011 12:01:37 AM - By Verna Gates
BIRMINGHAM, Ala, March 31 (Reuters) - Police have placed two officers on paid administrative leave as part of an investigation into the apparent beating of a black man that was caught on tape.
Birmingham Mayor William Bell also called for more training on the appropriate use of force by police after the man's attorney released video of the incident to media this week.
"The mayor is disturbed by what he has seen of the video," the major's chief of staff, Erskine "Chuck" Faush Jr., said on Thursday.
A security video captured the March 20 run-in between police and 29-year-old Travarious Daniel.
According to a police report, undercover officers outside a nightclub chased Daniel after observing him take the keys of a parked car and remove a GPS, a Dell computer and a carton of cigarettes that he then put into his own car.
Daniel, who had worked at the nightclub as a security guard, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen goods and breaking and entering into a vehicle.
An additional felony charge of possession of a stolen firearm is expected, said police Sergeant Johnny Williams.
But Daniel's attorney and the Nation of Islam, of which Daniel is a member, are questioning how the arrest was made.
In the video, viewed on Thursday by a Reuters reporter, Daniel appears to raise his hands in surrender as a white police officer throws him to the ground and beats him on the back and head. A second officer also appears to strike Daniel.
"The Nation of Islam wanted to let people know what was done to him," said Charles Salvagio, Daniel's attorney. "The guy had his hands up and was trying to surrender. When he came to my office, he looked like he had two heads, it was so swollen.
Salvagio said Daniel also has back injuries as a result of the incident.
Birmingham police officials would not reveal the identities or race of the two officers put on leave. One of the men was already on medical leave, Williams said.
The defense attorney said the officers involved are white.
In January, a jury cleared two Birmingham police officers of brutality charges. In that case, a total of five white officers were seen beating a black man in a video that surfaced in 2009.
All five officers were fired, but the two officers who were acquitted are now trying to get their jobs back. (Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)
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WATCH (WARNING - GRAPHIC VIDEO - via al.com):