AZ officers on leave after video shows them beating man

08 Juin, 2018, 01:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Robert Johnson beaten by Mesa Arizona police on video

"We hope and pray that the Mesa Police Department will accept responsibility for the misconduct of these officers".

Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista, struggling to explain the startling show of force, promised to follow through with an ongoing probe into the attack, he said Tuesday, according to 12 News.

The officers are the subject of an internal investigation.

The incident happened at a balcony at the El Rancho apartment complex on May 23, when officers were there for a domestic disturbance call involving Robert Johnson's friend.

Johnson's attorney, Benjamin Taylor, tells The Associated Press that the officers should be suspended and disciplined.

Officers approached Johnson and his friend, searched Johnson, found he had no weapons and asked him to sit by the wall, police said. In the video, at least two officers are shown punching Johnson several times in the head; one officer pummels him on the left side of his face five times in rapid succession, before landing a final right hook that causes Johnson to slump down to the ground. He said Johnson is 35, not 33 like the police are reporting.

"He's doing terribly", Taylor told BuzzFeed News. They then begin to frisk Johnson. We hired Chief Batista a year ago to focus on making sure our police department is fairly serving the public. He released the footage publicly, in the name of transparency.

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Chief Batista says he also changed the department's policy so that officers can not hit a suspect in the face or head unless they're fighting with them. He did not elaborate on what might have been said.

"He's a good guy and he didn't deserve to be beat up", Taylor said.

"It is important for me to convey to our community that their trust in us is paramount, and that's why I want to be transparent in talking about it", Batista told Fox 10.

The Mesa Police Association, which represents several of the officers involved in the incident, said in a statement that officers were sent to a risky domestic situation, and that officers acted to end the confrontation quickly and prevent anyone from falling over a short guardrail.

"The Mesa Police Association feels it is grossly inappropriate to release a portion of video with no audio that does not include the full context of the encounter", the statement said. One of the police officers took this to mean Johnson was preparing to fight, according to the police report. "This is going to affect him for the rest of his life".

Mesa City Council member Jeremy Whittaker said the video was "appalling" at first glance.

Mesa police said they plan to release additional video related to this incident later this week.

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