Yesterday morning I posted about a video making the rounds which shows two LAPD officers forcefully restraining a suspect and clearly punching him directly in the face while he’s being choked. I updated the post today noting that the LAPD has stated that they are looking into the video and investigating what happened. Well it looks like they aren’t the only ones, and the FBI is now looking into it as well. Earlier reports included quotes from Chief Bratton saying the department was looking into whether the actions of the officers were appropriate however Gary Ingumenson, independent counsel for the Los Angeles Police Protective League is now claiming they were in fact acting under standard procedure. From the AP Story:
Ingumenson said he welcomed the investigations, contending the officers acted well within their rights and department policy. In particular, police appeared to use what are known as “distraction strikes,” a tactic for subduing suspects, he said.
“This would have never happened if the suspect had surrendered as he is lawfully obligated to do,” Ingumenson said.
Current reports are also saying the suspect, William Cardenas, is not only a known gang member but part of the top 10% of criminals causing 50% of the crime in the city. The original release from CopWatchLA claims that Cardenas has no history of gang involvement.
Personally I’m keeping a close watch on the LAPD Blog where I’m expecting to see something about this very soon. This will be an interesting situation, much like the flashlight policy earlier this year, where it’s possible that the officers did nothing wrong in that they were acting within department policy, however the policy itself might be the problem. If it’s within policy to punch a suspect in the face several times while he’s being held to the ground with a shin to his throat I’d imagine that there will be some public questioning of that policy.
Chief Bratton has responded on the LAPD Blog. It’s basically the same statement given to the media earlier with a little more detail on the actual polic report and witness testimonies but that will probably be a comment thread worth watching.
More Metroblogging Posts About This Video
* A New LAPD Beating Video? – posted 11:11 AM on Nov. 08
* The Video, the LAPD Blog, and how the two will relate – posted at 7:40 AM on Nov. 10
* Police Report and New LAPD Video Don’t Match Up – posted at 10:07 AM on Nov. 11