Providence, R.I. – A U.S. Immigration judge has ordered the release of a 21-year-old man seen on video in handcuffs as a Providence police officer beats him with a flashlight.
Luis Mendonca was being held by immigration officials who had sought to deport him to Cape Verde. Mendonca is a key witness against Detective Robert DeCarlo, who has pleaded not guilty to simple assault for the alleged beating on Oct. 20.
Surveillance video from a parking lot shows a police officer kicking and striking Mendonca as he is surrounded by several officers investigating a break-in at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Mendonca's lawyer says his client was in a coma for two days.