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Man beaten by Dover Police was wanted in connection to domestic violence charges

Posted at 6:42 PM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 22:16:59-04

A New Jersey man whose arrest went viral after cellphone video showed him getting repeatedly punched in the head by police, faced a judge today on charges stemming from two domestic violence incidents.

His violent arrest sparked a protest outside Dover Police headquarters over the weekend.

Cyprian Luke, 19, appeared in a Morris County courtroom Monday afternoon and entered a not guilty plea.

In February, police were called when Luke allegedly punched, kicked and choked his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child. He told police she hit him, too.

In April, police responded again to a domestic violence call. Luke's ex said he tried to strangle her again and that he kicked and damaged her car.

A few weeks later, a third complaint was filed when Luke allegedly violated a judge's order to stay away from his ex.

This weekend, police were tipped off that Luke was in the area and they made the arrest.

"Stop resisting," an officer can be heard shouting on the video, as onlookers questioned, "why are you punching him?"

Luke's family said the violence by police went too far.

"No one should go through what he went through," said his mother, Mary Luke. "It's not the way it should have been handled."

About 50 family members and friends protested outside the Krauszer's store, where Luke was arrested, right across from Dover Police headquarters.

"We’re all feeling a little traumatized because the police officers, you know, we see them as support and for help and now we're feeling a little bit like, whats going on here?" said Luke's mother.

Dover’s Mayor James Dodd stood alongside police Monday afternoon. He called the video disturbing and announced that the New Jersey Attorney General is investigating.

"I understand that we live in an age of social media were there is a tendency to rush to judgment. However, given the independent investigation now ongoing, I urge everyone to show restraint until all the facts come out," said Dodd.

"Rest assured, as Mayor of this great town, I will not stand for or tolerate abuse by any officer towards any member of the public."

Three officers involved in Luke's arrest have been put on paid leave pending the state's investigation.

Luke remains jailed. A detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday.