An unhinged Los Angeles police officer was caught on video repeatedly punching a man after telling him to “stop fighting.”
But the video clearly shows the man was not fighting. His only crime, in fact, was that he was trespassing on the property of a church where he apparently was sleeping in a tent.
“Ain’t nobody fighting,” said the man, allowing the cops to place his hands behind his back.
“Fuck you, bitch!” the cop responds while wailing on him with his fists as his partner passively looks on.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” the victim asks while trying to move away from the punches.
Eventually, more cops pull up and manage to arrest the man without further beating him.
“He’s the most friendly guy,” a witness can be heard telling the cops as they are arresting him.
“Get inside!” the cop responds to the women, unlawfully ordering her back into her home.
“He’s the most friendly guy, he fucking attacked me!”
The woman continues speaking and he continues to blow her off by telling her to “get inside.”
The incident took place on April 27 but police made no mention of it until the video surfaced online Monday where it quickly went viral. Police say they had received the video from the person who recorded it the day of the incident when a supervisor began making inquiries. They say the beating was also captured on the cop’s body camera but that video has not been released. Those two videos is what sparked an internal affairs investigation.
According to the police press release:
The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of a disturbing video capturing a portion of an interaction between an individual and two uniformed officers in the City’s Hollenbeck Area. We discovered this video the same day that the interaction occurred and took immediate action.
The incident occurred April 27, 2020 when two uniformed officers responded to a radio call of a trespassing suspect in the 2400 block of Houston Street. At that location the two officers made contact with a male trespass suspect and directed him to leave the private property. During the course of the investigation a physical altercation occurred between the suspect and one of the officers, resulting in the officer receiving minor injuries to his hand. The suspect had abrasions to his head and face but refused medical attention.
A uniformed supervisor responded to the scene and initiated a preliminary investigation consistent with the Department’s reportable use of force protocols. A community member who reportedly witnessed some portion of the altercation provided the supervisor with a copy of a cell phone video taken. Upon review of the content of the cell phone video and the involved officer’s body worn video, the supervisor notified his commanding officer and investigators of the Internal Affairs Group responded to conduct a personnel complaint investigation.
The trespass suspect was released from custody from Hollenbeck station pending further investigation.
Neither the name of the cop or the victim have been released but the cop has already retained an attorney who claimed the beating was justified because at no point did the victim tell the cop, “I give up.”
According to the Los Angeles Times:
David Winslow, the officer’s attorney, described him as a 20-year LAPD veteran but declined to identify him. Winslow said the suspect had been living in a tent in a lot adjacent to the church. An LAPD spokesman could not say if the suspect was homeless.
Winslow argued that prior to the footage that has been widely shared, the suspect was aggressive toward the police when they asked if he would consent to a search. During the initial search, the suspect allegedly struck the officer in the chest, knocking his body-worn camera to the ground, Winslow said.
The officer then ordered the man to turn back toward the fence, according to Winslow, who said the man started “using profanity, calling the officer names … telling him he wasn’t going to cooperate.” The man then threatened to attack the officer and began to struggle, which led the officer to use physical force, Winslow said.
Winslow disputed any characterization that the man was not fighting back and said the force used was necessary, despite the repeated blows the officer throws without any apparent response from the suspect.
“The use of force is justified because the officer believed he was under attack from the suspect … even though you might think the suspect wasn’t fighting back at that time, he wasn’t complying either,” Winslow said. “He didn’t go to the ground. He didn’t say ‘I give up.’”
The cop has been assigned to home and his partner has been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation. The video is embedded above and posted below.