The case of Montrice Bolden is raising the question-- did Erie police use excessive force while arresting him?

Defense attorney John Carlson watched the surveillance video of Bolden’s arrest which was obtained by Erie News Now.

The incident happened on June 27 behind TJ’s Traffic Jam on East 12th Street.

According to the criminal complaint, Bolden was smoking marijuana before he flicked a lit cigar at an officer and punched an officer in the face.  As police attempted to arrest him, the complaint says he reached for one of their weapons.

In the video, you don't see exactly what happened before police made the arrest.  Carlson says it's tough to make any conclusions, but he said it appears that the officers used the force they deemed necessary to make the arrest.

According to Carlson, in these types of cases, an officer is allowed to use an amount of non-deadly force that is necessary to complete the arrest.  The use of force may increase, if the officer is trying to protect him or herself from being harmed by someone who is resisting arrest, said Carlson.

Carlson says this case shines a light on the need for body cameras for Erie police.

“I think it would be helpful for all police officers to be armed with body cameras, so that not only could citizens who are skeptical of police conduct perhaps their concerns could be calmed, but it may also serve as a basis for showing the full story." said Carlson.