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Quentin Suttles, lawyer say he was a victim of police brutality, sexual assault

A Buffalo man says police went too far when he was arrested last year on Mother's Day. A graphic video was captured showing Quentin Suttles being repeatedly punched.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The same month in 2020 that George Floyd was killed while being arrested by police 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 at the hands of police. It was a traffic stop on Madison and Eagle Streets on May 10, 2020. According to Suttles, he had just left a gas station on Jefferson where he noticed officers, in his words, "staring" at him.

Suttles said when he left the gas station, he turned the wrong way on a one-way street, and while attempting to make a three-point turn, he was pulled over by two Buffalo Police officers.

Buffalo Police body camera video shows the officers speaking with Suttles and a female passenger.

Credit: Buffalo Police Department
Quentin Suttles footage

A citizen captured video and it is graphic and disturbing as one of the officers is repeatedly punching Suttles in the face.

On the police body cam video one of the officers is asking about marijuana in the vehicle. Suttles is heard saying "no, we just got done smoking."

No drugs were found in the vehicle.

Almost a year later, Suttles returned to the scene to talk about what happened.

"I gets out 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 weird was the way he claims the police officer searched him, he said. He referred to how an officer touched his private areas, saying, "That's you. Is this you?" as heard on the footage.

"I felt humiliated at the time, and I felt like as a man this is the lowest point in my life. How can I let another human being fondle me like that," he said.

Credit: Buffalo Police Department
Quentin Suttles footage

Once on the ground, an officer says he believes Suttles was trying to eat or swallow drugs. Meanwhile, blood is on the ground after he was repeatedly punched.

Suttles is heard saying "I'm dying, yo, I can't breathe."

"All I know is I'm about to lose my life," he said. "'Somebody help me,' that's all I kept thinking about. And I'm thinking, 'Why, why, why me? Why is this happening to me? What did I do?' I was fully compliant."

Suttles has been arrested in the past and has a current case still pending in Erie County. Police charged him with resisting arrest and obstruction, trying to conceal evidence, and traffic violations. He had a suspended driver's permit.

No court date has been scheduled for this current case.

A special prosecutor in Monroe County is still investigating the alleged misconduct by the two Buffalo Police officers Ronald Ammerman and Michael Scheu. Buffalo Police confirm Ammerman has been hit with an excessive force complaint in the past. This is the first disciplinary complaint against Scheu.

Both officers are currently on paid administrative leave according to department officials.

Suttles' attorney Prathima Reddy filed a notice of claim against the City of Buffalo, the police department and the two officers.

"This is really a classic case of police police brutality and use of excessive force," Reddy said. "We have a citizen, a Black citizen, who could have encountered just a standard traffic stop, but instead he was sexually assaulted, brutalized until his shoulder was broken, and until his eye socket was broken."

The search she called "peculiar."

"If there was any suspicion of drugs being hidden in body parts this went above and beyond that type of standard search it rises to a level of clear sexual assault," Reddy said.

Reddy says police reform is needed, Suttles agreed, adding the officers should be held accountable.

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