WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Two brothers appeared in court Tuesday with visible injuries after video of their Sunday morning arrest outside a nightclub had people questioning actions taken by the officers.
Bystanders filmed the controversial arrest of two brothers, 23-year-old Mitchell Lugo and 27-year-old Zachary Lugo, at Riviera Show Club in Worcester around 1:50 a.m. Sunday.
A fight broke out in the parking lot between the brothers and other patrons before two officers attempted to separate them, police said.
After officers told them to leave the area, the brothers continued to scream profanities at the individuals, according to police. Officers struggled to arrest the brothers while they were allegedly fighting and resisting arrest. During the altercation, Zachary Lugo was seen trying to attempt to grab an officer’s firearm, police said.
As both brothers were on the ground, more officers arrived. Mitchell and Zachary Lugo continued to kick and scream profanities at officers, police said. The brothers allegedly called an Asian-American officer racial slurs and threatened that they knew people who would kill the officer’s family for them.
According to police, the force used to subdue the men is being reviewed but appears to be within reason.
“When we conduct these investigations, we gather as much information and as many facts as possible,” Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent said. “Our members of the Bureau of Professional Standards then review the circumstances, level and the degree to which force was used. The initial review indicates that the use of force falls within the parameters of policy and training standards under the circumstances. A full investigation is being conducted.”
Still, some people who viewed the video felt differently about the actions of the officer.
“I think that’s terrible,” said Angelo Pena while watching the video. “I mean, they’re supposed to protect and serve but not abuse people like that.”
Police are encouraging people not to jump to their own conclusions. Cameras on the inside and outside of the building captured additional footage that they say will all be part of the department’s investigation.
Mitchell Lugo is charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, a civil rights violation and assault and battery on a police officer.
Zachary Lugo is charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, attempt to disarm a police officer and assault and battery on a police officer.
The brothers were released from prison on the condition that they must stay away from the nightclub. They have another court appearance scheduled for July.
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