Family claims police brutality left man on life-support

November 27, 2012 4:01:07 AM PST
A Fayetteville family claims the city's police department is to blame for their brother's life-threatening injuries.

Police say 55-year-old Gregory Lee-Bey tripped and fell, but the family says excessive force landed him in the hospital.

Lee's injuries are so severe that he was recently airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. He is now on life support after suffering a stroke.

Donald Lee says he is speaking out for his brother because he can't do it himself.

"He can't respond, he can't move his right side. His right side is paralyzed. He has bruises and contusions all over his body," Lee said. "They had to remove part of his skull because his brain had swollen."

The family alleges officers beat Lee-Bey during an arrest at a bar on Bragg Boulevard nearly two weeks ago.

Police responded to an active alarm at the bar. According to police, before Lee-Bey was arrested, he tried to runaway and tripped and fell, hitting his head.

Police admit some sort of force was used during the arrest, and it is now the focus of an internal investigation. Still, the family says much more happened than a simple trip and fall.

"It's not even plausible or even feasible anyone would have fallen unless they fell from the Eiffel Tower and may have suffered that kind of injury," Lee said.

The police department told ABC11 they have surveillance video of the incident. The department declined ABC11's request to review the footage.

According to the police report, Lee-Bey is charged with burglary.

Lee-Bey has a criminal record and was just released from prison last May, according to the N.C. Department of Corrections.  His family says they don't condone the alleged crime, but they worry if he'll ever recover from his injuries.

"No human being deserves the kind of beating that was inflicted upon him, no matter what their past or history may be," Lee said.

The officer involved in the incident remains on regular duty.

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