Police say they are investigating an officer for the alleged beating of an unarmed suspect during an arrest last week in Boyle Heights, after a video of the incident surfaced on social media on Monday.
The video, posted on social media, shows the suspect being held against a fence by two LAPD officers. After a brief verbal altercation, the video shows one of the officers repeatedly punching the suspect.
Warning: video contains profanity and violence:
After the brief physical altercation, the video shows an LAPD squad car show to the scene. Two other officers get out of the car and help put the suspect in handcuffs.
A statement released by the Los Angeles Police Department said the incident occurred April 27 when the two Hollenbeck division officers responded to a radio call about a trespassing suspect on 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,” the statement said. “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.”
The statement went on to say that a supervisor called to the scene to begin a preliminary use of force investigation was able to review the video provided by a community member. After reviewing the cell phone video and the officer’s own bodycam video, the supervisor notified his commanding officer and “investigators of the Internal Affairs Group responded to conduct a personnel complaint investigation.”
A review of the video shows the incident occurred near the entrance to the Church of God of the Prophecy church, located at 2466 Houston Street, near North Fickett Street. Boyle Heights Beat has been unable to verify the identity of a man claiming to be the suspect on the video on a Facebook post.
The suspect was released from custody from Hollenbeck station pending further investigation and the involved officer has been assigned to home duty. The LAPD statement said that under the direction of the Police Chief, the unnamed officer will be investigated by the department’s Force Investigation Division.
On Tuesday afternoon, LAPD chief Michel Moore released a statement in response to social media outcry over the Boyle Heights incident. While not addressing the local case specifically, the statement read in part: “I intend to… hold individuals accountable for behavior that is inconsistent with the high standards [of the LAPD].”
A message to our community: pic.twitter.com/kl6ba1HLSx
— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) May 5, 2020
This post was updated at 12:40 pm to clarify where video was originally posted and again at 1:39 to add statement by police chief. The post will be updated as story develops.