DPS Investigating Black Friday Brawl in Buckeye - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

DPS Investigating Black Friday Brawl in Buckeye


The Department of Public Safety has been called in to investigate whether a Buckeye police officer used excessive force when he took down a grandfather accused of shoplifting at Wal-Mart.

The investigation will examine Officer Kevin Rorke's "overall use of force" during the incident.

Rorke used a "leg sweep" to take 54-year-old Jerald Allen Newman to the ground after an assistant Wal-Mart manager alerted Rorke that Newman had allegedly concealed a video game under his shirt.

Maricopa County Superior Court documents say Rorke used the maneuver after Newman tried to pull away when Rorke told him he was under arrest.

Newman's attorney, Todd Nolan, says Rorke's use of force was absolutely excessive.

Newman has maintained he was just trying to help his grandson not be trampled by all the other shoppers there on Black Friday.

"It was savage cruelty, it was absolutely excessive force... we believe Mr. Newman is innocent," says Nolan. Nolan says Newman was not shoplifting or resisting arrest, but is a victim of police brutality.

A photo after the incident shows Newman is bloodied and bruised, wearing a neck brace.

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