An investigation is underway into a “disturbing” video showing a veteran Los Angeles cop repeatedly punching a trespassing suspect, department officials said.
A 51-second video of the incident — posted Tuesday on Twitter — shows two officers handcuffing a male man after he was ordered to leave private property in the city’s Boyle Heights section on April 27, LAPD officials said in a statement Tuesday.
An unidentified male officer then told the suspect to “stop fighting,” video shows.
“Ain’t nobody fighting,” the man responds in the footage.
The officer then proceeds to punch the suspect in the back of the head before unleashing a flurry of punches, as his female partner looks on, video shows.
The officer appears to punch the man roughly 15 times while shouting profanities.
“What’s the f–k wrong with you, motherf–ker?” the officer asks the suspect while pressing him against a fence. “Shut the f–k up!”
LAPD officials did not identify the suspect nor the officer involved in the incident, but said the man was released from custody pending further investigation.
“The LAPD closely scrutinizes all uses of force, as we hold every officer to our high standards,” department officials said in a statement. “While we are withholding judgment on the actions of the involved officer at this time, the officer has been assigned home pending further investigation.”
The officer had minor injuries to his hand after the incident, while the suspect declined medical attention, police said.
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An attorney for the officer, meanwhile, told the Los Angeles Times the suspect had been aggressive toward the 20-year department vet prior to the start of the footage, allegedly knocking the cop’s body-cam to the ground.
“The use of force is justified because the officer believed he was under attack from the suspect,” attorney David Winslow told the newspaper.
“Even though you might think the suspect wasn’t fighting back at that time, he wasn’t complying either. He didn’t go to the ground. He didn’t say, ‘I give up.’ ”