Activists demand police brutality probe in W.Va.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Environmental activists are demanding an investigation into the alleged beating of a mountaintop removal mining protester by state troopers.

Several groups issued a statement Thursday asking the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate a weekend incident involving mountaintop removal mining protester Dustin Steele.

They'd initially targeted the West Virginia attorney general, but that office has no criminal investigation or prosecutorial power.

Steele is a 21-year-old Matewan native who lives in Blair.

He tells The Associated Press he was dragged across asphalt, then punched and kicked by several state troopers at the Madison detachment Saturday after he and 19 others were arrested at Patriot Coal's Hobet mine.

Sgt. Michael Baylous says State Police haven't received a complaint, so they're not doing an internal investigation.

Steele says one will be filed later Thursday.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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