LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Department of Homeland Security officer was charged Thursday in Los Angeles federal court with kicking a handcuffed man in the head last year outside a Social Security Administration office.
Jason Michael Rouswell, 46, of Los Angeles was indicted on a charge of violating the civil rights of a man on Oct. 20, 2016, in Pomona. Rouswell is an inspector with the Federal Protective Service that guards U.S. facilities. He works in the El Sereno area.
Prosecutors offered no details, but cell phone video of the incident was obtained by CBS2 back in October.
The video shows what looks like a routine arrest until one of the officers kicks the suspect in the head. The man is clearly handcuffed and does not appear to offer any resistance.
At the time, CBS2 spoke to Alex Garcia, the man who shot the video. Garcia says he started recording because he believed the officers were using excessive force against the unidentified suspect.
“One of the officers started handcuffing him, the other one was on top of him and socked him on the back,” Garcia said.
Garcia says the incident began with police activity at the Social Security office near West Mission Boulevard and South White Avenue.
“They were chasing him or whatever,” Garcia said. “He starts to back off. He starts backing away, they pull out their Tasers. He said, ‘don’t shoot, don’t shoot.’ So they shoot him, they tase him and he falls to the floor.”
The man, identified in the indictment only as C.S., was injured by the kick, according to the indictment.
“(The officer) walked up to his face and just kicked him, like, in the face,” Garcia said. “The guy was already in handcuffs on the floor. There was no need. He wasn’t struggling, he wasn’t resisting arrest. He’s tased on the floor in handcuffs.”
Rouswell didn’t immediately respond to a message sent to a work email address in his name. He didn’t have a lawyer, but agreed to surrender Monday, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office said. It was unclear whether he was still working as an officer at the time of the indictment.
Rouswell could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Messages left after-hours for Department of Homeland Security spokespeople seeking comment on the incident or Rouswell’s employment status were not immediately returned.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)