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Judge rules in favor of man in violent 2015 arrest

A Common Pleas Court judge  has ruled that police illegally stopped a man who was kicked and beaten by officers during a 2015 arrest that was captured on a viral video.

Tyree Carroll was riding a bicycle when he was stopped by undercover police on the night of April 3, 2015 in the 600 block of East Locust Avenue on suspicion that he was involved in drug sales.

The video, recorded by a nearby resident, shows Carroll, then 22, bent over in the street with two officers holding him and apparently struggling to handcuff him. The struggle moves to the ground and a group of officers is seen punching and kicking Carroll. The video has received nearly 200,000 views.

Judge Kai Scott on Wednesday granted a motion to suppress evidence of drugs — 5.3 grams of crack cocaine — allegedly found by officers in Carroll's possession because the police had no legal basis to stop Carroll, an African American, in the first place.

Michael Wiseman, Carroll's lawyer, said Thursday night that an officer testified that while police were conducting surveillance in the area for drug sales, Carroll was seen repeatedly riding his bicycle in the same area.

"Based on [the officer's] testimony, there was simply no basis for stopping Mr. Carroll for any reason," Wiseman said.

"He had the right to walk away," Wiseman said of Carroll, now 24. But police turned the encounter physical and Carroll was the victim of "outrageous police misconduct," Wiseman said.

Prosecutors can appeal to Superior Court.

"The decision to appeal is still under review," said Cameron Kline, spokesman for the District Attorney's Office.

When Carroll heard the judge's ruling, "he felt vindicated," Wiseman said.

If prosecutors do not appeal, they can still pursue aggravated assault and resisting arrest charges against Carroll, who bit two officers during the struggle.

Wiseman argued that none of what transpired would have happened if police had followed the law. Carroll spent about five months in prison after the arrest.

A police Internal Affairs investigation found that the officers did not use excessive force.

Carroll also has a separate drug case and a probation-violation case pending.