The San Jose Police Department is defending its actions during the beating of a suspect who was being arrested, an event captured on video by a bystander’s mobile phone and uploaded to social media, where it went viral.
The suspect, 22-year-old Juan Moreno-Lopez, got into a scuffle with police over the weekend after police said he threw something in the bushes and ran. But police said the three-minute-long video doesn’t show the man allegedly trying to attack them and that he wouldn’t stop struggling even after he was taken to the ground.
“All we’re seeing here is a small portion,” SJPD spokesman Sgt. Enrique Garcia said. He told the San Jose Mercury News, “We have nothing to hide about this particular incident. An investigation will be conducted, and this will be presented in court. That’s the process people should respect instead of trying to make a judgment before all the evidence is introduced.”
The confrontation began when patrolling officers saw Moreno-Lopez duck behind bushes and throw something away. The authorities said he then ran away.
The suspect, who police said was too violent for the police vehicle, needed to be restrained in a gurney. He was treated at a local hospital for bruises and scrapes and confined at Santa Clara County jail. He was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of meth, being under the influence of a stimulant, and resisting arrest.
“It was still excessive. After you have the guy down on the ground, why are you still hitting him?” The Rev. Jethro “Jeff” Moore told the newspaper. The president of the San Jose chapter of the NAACP added, “The video is really important. What they’ve been telling us and what the video is showing is different. In every case, we’re told, ‘he was resisting.’ We’re tired of hearing that.”
The city’s independent police auditor has received formal complaints about the arrest and has forwarded them to internal affairs for review.