LAPD Police Officer Assaults Handcuffed Suspect
(CA) – A Los Angeles Police Department police officer has been suspended after he was caught on video punching a suspect. The incident happened on August 14. Two individuals were suspects in a carjacking. The video shows one of the suspects handcuffed and strapped to a gurney. The suspect cusses and spits toward a group of police officers as EMTs prepare to load him into the ambulance.
One officer rushes toward the suspect and punches him. He then appears to be holding the suspect as he says, “Don’t do that shit again to any officer.” A police corporal, the highest ranking officer that can be seen on the video, tries to push the officer away. It looks as if one of the EMTs also tries to push the police officer away.
The Los Angeles Police Department issued the following press release on Sunday:
Officer Relieved of Police Powers NR21214ml
Los Angeles: On August 14, 2021, a carjacking incident occurred in the Mission area of the San Fernando Valley, culminating in the City of San Fernando with the arrest of two suspects. After the suspects were taken into custody one of officers was observed apparently striking one of the individuals. This was captured by a community member on a brief video clip.
Chief of Police Michel Moore stated,” The images in the video are deeply disturbing and while we must wait for the investigation to be completed, the Department will act swiftly in any instance of excessive or unnecessary force.”
The Department learned of the video clip earlier today and immediately initiated a complaint investigation. The involved officer has been assigned home and his peace officer powers suspended pending the results of the investigation.
Internal Affairs Investigation
Police Chief Michel Moore mentions an investigation but doesn’t really say what kind. No doubt an internal affairs investigation is being conducted, but are they conducting a criminal investigation too? The police officer assaulted an individual. He was the aggressor. The officer cannot legitimately claim he was in fear for his life. Wearing a uniform does not stop that from being a crime.
Law enforcement agencies tend to hide information which causes a lot of distrust. The police chief won’t give the name of the officer. They haven’t told us if a criminal investigation is being conducted or just an internal affairs investigation. We don’t know if the District Attorney’s Office is also investigating. The LAPD hasn’t told us why they didn’t find out until Sunday when the incident happened on Saturday. Did they only find out because the video went viral? We haven’t been told if any of the officers left out the attack on their reports. If any did, are they being investigated for failure to report?
It will be interesting to see if anything is done on a criminal level. If the officer is charged with a crime, will it only be because he was caught on video? Hopefully, it will also be because his fellow officers reported the assault.