What’s the line the between appropriate force, and police brutality? An arrest in Vallejo, California has police, and witnesses debating that question.
Cops got a 911 on Friday about a man acting “crazy,” according to a CBS San Francisco report. An arriving officer chased the suspect until the man quit, and sat down on the median. In the middle of the street. This is when things escalated. Reportedly, the officer started arresting the individual, who allegedly started resisting.
“I am God!” the suspect said on video. “I am god.”
The officer can be seen striking him multiple times, first by fist, and then by baton. He also pulled out his gun, and seemed to point the gun in the general direction of witnesses who protested the arrest.
“The kid surrendered,” said one witness who didn’t give the outlet his name. “The cop, on the other hand, came up right behind him and he was tired too. But he immediately dove on the kid and started wailing on him.”
Internal Affairs is investigating this. For now, though, even law enforcement officers seem split on the matter.
Police trainer Don Cameron was understanding.
“Basically that’s what they’re trained to do,” he told CBS. “When we’re down on the ground, we want to get the person in custody as quickly as we can and we use personal weapons.”
Former Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan seemed far more ambivalent, however. He criticized the initial use of after another officer arrived, as well as the choice to pull out a firearm.
“I understand the officer needed to try to keep the people from getting close to him,” he said. ”I don’t necessarily agree that’s the best use of force. It does look bad. It does appear inappropriate.”
One officer was reportedly injured. The suspect, who was unnamed in the report, faces counts of resisting arrest, and being under the influence.
[Screengrab via Laura Maldonado]