NEW: Video Of Officer Assault With Lawn Decoration Raises Questions

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 4, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A man who said he is the brother of Leon “Dane” Hall, who was arrested Tuesday night after a fight with an officer from the Salt Lake City Police Department, has posted a video of the incident to Facebook.

Leon Hall was arrested just before midnight after the altercation left the officer with part of his ear severed, as well as a laceration to his head.

Eli Hall, who said he is Leon Hall’s older brother, wrote on his Facebook wall: “Here is the video of police brutally beating my little brother.

“My little brother is in jail for cutting off part of a police officer’s ear during an altercation. Is what he did ok? NOT AT ALL. Did the cop excessively beat him? …YES. What ever happened is not as important as the fact that Leon has never been even remotely the same after being severely gay bashed a few years back. For those of you who personally know him, I’m sure you’re aware that he has serious brain damage after that brutal beating and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He needs mental help, not jail time.”

Hall was previously in the news in 2011 for reporting he had been beaten during a hate-crime assault.

In Tuesday night’s incident, SLCPD Lt. Dave Cracroft said officers were called to Pauline Apartments at 120 S. 300 East due to reports of a suspicious man pounding on doors.

Cracroft said officers made the decision to take the man into custody when things took a violent turn.

“The suspect pulled out a decorative flower made of iron, about 18 inches long, with an iron base and a porcelain top,” Cracroft said. “He ended up hitting one of my officers on the side of the head with it, severing his ear.”

Hall, 23, was initially taken to the hospital and then taken to jail. He was booked on assault on a police officer, interfering with an officer and criminal mischief.

The injured policeman  ─ whose name was not released ─ was rushed to the hospital where surgeons planned to reattach his ear.

Part of the ornament used in the alleged assault on the police officer. Photo Courtesy: Q Salt Lake magazine

As first reported by Q Salt Lake magazine, in Aug. 2011, Hall said he was attacked outside Club Sound as his assailants yelled anti-gay slurs. He said his head was held to the ground and he was stomped on, breaking his jaw and loosening several teeth. No one was ever arrested in the assault, and Q Salt Lake reports many speculated the attack was drug-related rather than being a hate crime.

A news release from SLCPD Thursday further explained Tuesday night incident: “The officers asked the male to leave, then he became violent and attempted to assault both officers. The man and officer went to the ground and a dynamic struggle ensued with an officer using intermediate force in an effort to subdue the male.

“While there is body camera footage, due to the routine internal investigation regarding use of force incidents, the footage will be reviewed per department protocol on use of force investigations. Additionally, an independent review of this incident will be conducted by the Civilian Review Board. There will be no further comment on this incident pending completion of the Internal Affairs investigation.”


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