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Attorney: Krug "attacked" client on Thanksgiving

Posted at 11:42 PM, Dec 15, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-10 23:42:54-05

After seeing the video shot Thanksgiving morning by our 7 Eyewitness News photographer, Devin Ford hired an attorney. He says he was the man in the video, being hit by Officer Corey Krug.

MORE | See our original report, with comments from Buffalo Police Commissioner Dan Derenda and the NYCLU

We've learned Ford is in the beginning stages of filing a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Buffalo, specifically naming Officer Krug.

In the video, Ford is seen squirming, trying to avoid repeated blows from the Buffalo police officer hitting him.

"His civil rights were violated, pretty clearly," attorney Christopher Pannozzo said.

Pannozzo was hired to represent Ford. He says Krug used excessive force that morning, especially considering Ford was not arrested nor charged with any crime.

"I really can't tell you why Officer Krug attacked him," Pannozzo said.

What happened before the so-called attack remains a mystery. 

The video shows Krug storming up the street. At that moment, we see officers scatter.

Pannozzo says there was a fight, near where Ford was talking to a friend. He claims his client wasn't involved, but for some reason Ford became Krug's focus.

"It's lucky there was a video because who knows what could have happened had that camera not been there," Pannozzo said.

Krug is no stranger to claims of excessive force. Court records show he's been named in three federal suits since 2010.

"I believe based upon what you're seeing that you have somebody that's done this in the past, that has used similar ways of what he would term as 'subduing whoever,' in the past and he's doing it to Mr. Ford," Pannozzo said.

Krug has been suspended without pay, pending the Buffalo Police internal investigation.

"As they do their investigation, hopefully they learn some lessons as to the training of officers and screening of officers, and to see if there's been prior complaints against them that they're taken seriously," Pannozzo said.

The Buffalo PBA will not comment on this, because it's a disciplinary issue.

Ford did not want to speak on camera, citing concerns for his safety.