By Ava-joye Burnett

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore City Police officer has been charged with first-degree assault and misconduct, authorities announced Friday.

Officer Kevin Battipaglia is accused of violently arresting a man in the 3000 block of Brendan Avenue on Christmas Eve. Battipaglia, a five-year veteran, has been suspended without pay.

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Attorney Latoya Francis-Williams says the encounter left her client, Darrian Carr, bloodied.

“While we are pleased that the state’s attorney has brought charges against the officer, we are a little perplexed as to why it’s taken so long to come to this point. The City of Baltimore is fed up. This type of conduct certainly can’t stand,” she said.

Prosecutors say Carr faces illegal gun possession charges.

“They each will have their day in court and each of these defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty,” Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.

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Francis-Williams says she doesn’t believe her client had a weapon.

Police did not provide details regarding what transpired during the incident.

Baltimore City Police spokesperson T.J. Smith released the following statement:

We take these matters very seriously. Our Office of Professional Responsibility is working with the State’s Attorney’s Office with regard to this matter. The officer is a five-year veteran who was assigned to Northeast District patrol. At this stage, the evidence in this case will be scrutinized in the judicial system.

Baltimore’s police department has drawn national attention recently as the city has seen record-breaking homicides last year and has been plagued with departmental scandals, including corruption charges against the disgraced Gun Track Task Force.

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Ava-joye Burnett