LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating one of their own after a complaint of use of excessive force during an arrest, officials said Friday.
A complaint of excessive force was made during the arrest Oct. 16 of a man suspected of possessing drugs in South LA.
The LAPD’s Force Investigation Unit and Internal Affairs division launched the investigation after “issues” arose in the arrest at 55th Street and South Avalon Boulevard, said LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman.
An officer kicked and beat Clinton Alford, 22, as the suspected drug holder was being held down by other officers, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Alford denied having drugs in his possession.
The newspaper also reported that a private company’s surveillance camera captured images of the officer kicking the man in the head.
Police Chief Charlie Beck said he was “extremely concerned about this particular use of force.”
The officer’s lawyer is quoted by the Times saying that his client’s foot landed on the man’s shoulder as officers attempted to handcuff Alford.
“I can assure you that our investigators will investigate every aspect of this incident to determine what transpired that resulted in the use of force last Thursday,” Beck said. “Our officers are confronted regularly with situations that require them to employ force to overcome resistance or to affect an arrest. When they use force it must always be reasonable and necessary, and the application must be in accordance with our policies as well as the law.”
Beck added: “Any officer (who) is found to abuse the public is not welcome in this department, and we will apply whatever legal or administrative means necessary to ensure the community’s trust without exception.”
The four officers involved in Alford’s arrest and a sergeant who later arrived at the scene have been relieved of duty with pay during the investigation, according to The Times.
Alford, who suffered “a gash on his ear,” was taken to a hospital, where he received stitches and “a head scan,” the newspaper reported, adding that Alford was booked and released on his own recognizance.
“I was just praying that they wouldn’t kill me. I just closed my eyes and tried to hold on,” Alford told the newspaper.
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