The LAPD Hollenbeck officer accused of assault in the violent beating of a Boyle Heights man caught on video earlier this year pleaded not guilty to a single count of assault during a brief appearance in court Thursday.
A news report by KTLA5 showed Frank Hernández, 49, standing next to his lawyer wearing a beige suit and a black face mask. The LAPD 23-year veteran remained silent while his lawyer entered his not guilty plea.
In a brief encounter with a Los Angeles Times reporter following the hearing, Hernández defended his tactics of punching the man, who appeared not to be resisting arrest, more than a dozen times in the head and upper body.
“No comment, but I was in fear of imminent danger and acted appropriately,” Hernández told the Times outside the courtroom before being pulled away from the reporter by attorney Nicole Castronovo.
Hernández was arrested Tuesday and charged with assault under color of authority. L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. Christopher Baker said he would not be seeking bail due to an emergency order allowing a number of defendants to be released without bail during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hernández remains free on his own recognizance. He’s due back in court in July.
OUR COVERAGE OF THE FRANK HERNÁNDEZ CASE
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