Unnecessary Force?

A jarring videotape of a Philadelphia arrest triggers agonizing memories--and defies easy explanations

For days now, investigators, police experts and television-news viewers have been watching and rewatching a 28-sec. tape. In that short yet endless sequence, they scan for clues to explain why so many Philadelphia policemen are surrounding a man, stomping and punching him as he lies on the ground, wounded.

It's human nature to try to make order out of chaos--even more, perhaps, when that chaos is captured on video, preserved for dissection. But at this point, none of the labels slapped on the Philadelphia videotape quite fits the known facts.

Police spotted a green Chevy Cavalier driving erratically in North Philadelphia...

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