A Buffalo man says police went too far when he was arrested on Mother’s Day last year. A graphic video was recorded showing Quentin Suttles being hit repeatedly.
BUFFALO, NY – In the same month in 2020 that George Floyd was killed in police arrest in Minneapolis, a man in Buffalo had a similar encounter with police.
Quentin Suttles said he thought he was going to die on the ground from the police. There was a traffic obstruction on Madison Street and Eagle Street on May 10, 2020. According to Suttles, he had just left a gas station in Jefferson, where he noticed officials “staring at” him at his words.
Suttles said he was turning the wrong way on a one-way street as he walked out of the gas station, and when he tried to make a three-point turn, he was stopped by two Buffalo police officers.
The Buffalo Police body camera video shows officers talking to Suttles and a passenger.
A citizen recorded a video, which is graphic and disturbing, of one of the officers repeatedly slapping Suttles in the face.
On the video with the police camera, one of the officers asks about marijuana in the vehicle. Suttles can be heard saying, “No, we just finished smoking.”
No medication was found in the vehicle.
Almost a year later, Suttles returned to the scene to talk about what had happened.
“I get out of the vehicle, hands in the air, hands in the air, they check my pockets, nothing, nothing on me, nothing. Then it got weird,” he said.
What was strange was the way he claims the cop searched him, he said. He was referring to an officer touching his private space and saying, “That’s you. Is that you?” as heard on the footage.
“I felt humiliated at the time and felt as a man the lowest point in my life. How can I let someone else caress me like that,” he said.
Once on the ground, an officer said he believed Suttles tried to eat or swallow drugs. Meanwhile, there is blood on the floor after he has been repeatedly hit.
Suttles can be heard saying, “I’m dying, yo, I can’t breathe.”
“I just know that I’m about to lose my life,” he said. “‘Somebody help me,’ that’s all I kept thinking about. And I think, ‘Why, why, why me? Why is this happening to me? What have I done?’ I was fully compliant. “
Suttles was arrested in the past and has one pending case in Erie County. The police charged him with defying arrest and obstruction, hiding evidence, and committing traffic violations. He had a suspended driver’s license.
No court date is planned for this current case.
A special attorney in Monroe County is still investigating alleged wrongdoing by two Buffalo police officers, Ronald Ammerman and Michael Scheu. Buffalo police confirm that Ammerman has had an excessive violence complaint in the past. This is the first disciplinary complaint against shyness.
Both officers currently have paid administrative leave, according to department officials.
Suttles’ attorney Prathima Reddy filed a lawsuit against the City of Buffalo, the police, and the two officers.
“This is really a classic case of police brutality and excessive use of force,” said Reddy. “We have a citizen, a black citizen, who could only have encountered a normal traffic obstruction, but instead he was sexually assaulted, brutalized until his shoulder was broken and his eye socket was broken.”
She called the search “strange”.
“If there was a suspicion that drugs were hidden in parts of the body, it went beyond this type of standard search and resulted in a definite sexual assault,” said Reddy.
Reddy says police reform is needed, Suttles agreed, adding that officers should be held accountable.