L.A. City Council Approves $500K To Settle Lawsuit By Man Beaten By Police Officer

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday approved $500,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a man, who was repeatedly kicked and punched by a police officer during an arrest captured on security video.

Last year, Officer Richard Garcia pleaded no contest to a felony assault charge for his role in the arrest of Clinton Alford near 55th Street and South Avalon Boulevard in South Los Angeles on Oct. 6, 2014

After Garcia completed the terms of his plea agreement, the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor last week, and he never had to serve time in jail.

In 2015, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said he was “shocked by the content of the video” and urged the District Attorney’s Office to file criminal charges against Garcia.

Alford’s attorney, Caree Harper, criticized the handling of the criminal case, calling Garcia’s ultimate punishment a “slap on the wrist.”

In response to the lawsuit settlement approved Wednesday, Harper told City News Service: “This brings closure to a troubling incident that hopefully won’t be repeated in L.A. County and hopefully that officer won’t be on patrol any more.”

Officers said they arrested Alford because he matched the description of a robbery suspect.

After running from police, Alford surrendered but Garcia still assaulted him while the suspect was on the ground.

Surveillance video from a nearby business shows Alford was on the ground being restrained by other officers when Garcia kicked and stomped on him, then repeatedly struck him in the head and body.

Garcia is still employed by the LAPD even though he remains at home pending a disciplinary hearing.

The council on Wednesday also approved a $500,000 settlement of a lawsuit brought by Sergio Pina, who was shot multiple times by an LAPD officer on Feb. 2, 2013.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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