Police officer put on leave after video showing use of force goes viral

Police officer put on leave after video showing use of force goes viral

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — A New Castle police officer is on administrative leave pending an internal investigation after a video showing officers trying to detain a man was shared on Facebook more than 90,000 times.

The video doesn’t show the entire incident, but it does show an Officer Ron Williams slamming Perry Lawry's head on a floor several times inside an East Washington Street house.

"Obviously, any time there's a video of officers involved in an arrest like that, we want to make sure our policies and procedures were followed, and if they weren't, officers will be held accountable," said Police Chief Bob Salem.

Police said they two officers responded to the residence Monday when Lawry, who was intoxicated, allegedly choked a teenager, according to the criminal complaint.

That boy, the son of Lawry's girlfriend, is the one who shot the video. His mother posted it on Facebook.


When one officer entered the home, Lawry allegedly began to struggle with him, according to the complaint. Williams, a 10-year veteran, heard the struggle and entered the home.

Lawry allegedly moved toward a kitchen counter with two knives on it. Williams tried to subdue Lawry three times with a Taser, but Lawry kept crawling toward the knives, police said.

Williams detailed what happened next in the complaint: "I did grab the male by the back of the shoulders and gave him three thrusts, shoving his chest and head into the floor, until he stopped resisting and handcuffs could be placed on the male.”

"Once we found out about the video on social media, we put a press release out to let the public know that we are aware of the situation, that an internal investigation is being conducted," Salem said.

He said Lawry was taken to a hospital and released, and is now facing several charges. Lawry's blood alcohol level was .326, four times the legal limit, according to hospital records.

One of Lawry's stepsons told Channel 11 they plan on getting a lawyer Wednesday.