GRAPHIC VIDEO: Mesa police chief talking to media now about this physical response from officers during a contact with this man at an apt complex. Says he knew “nothing about this” and the video is “powerful and alarming” - @Matt_Fox10 will have more at 5 #Fox10Phoenix pic.twitter.com/4nVSJwHqTN— Stefania Okolie (@StefaniaFOX10) June 5, 2018
At least three Mesa officers and a sergeant have been placed on leave after a disturbing video emerged showing multiple cops repeatedly punching a man in the face.
The Mesa Police Department released footage of the incident in which the man can be seen looking at his cellphone when a group of police officers exit an elevator.
The man follows orders when they him to lean against the wall. Then, they tell him to sit on the floor but as he squats instead. That's when the officers close in on him and start punching him in the face.
Later, one cop shoves his head into the elevator door before wrapping his head in a cloth.
The officers were responding to a May 23 domestic violence call when the assault occurred. However, the man who was beaten, identified as 33-year-old Robert Johnson, turned out to be a friend of the suspect, identified as 20-year-old Erik Reyes.
Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista, who released footage to the public, says he received the video from a "member of the community."
While he maintained Jonson failed to follow orders, he said the officers were out of line.
"I don't feel that our officers were at their best," Batista said. "I don't feel this situation needed to go the way that it went."
Benjamin Taylor, Johnson's attorney, told BuzzFeed his client is undergoing "major injuries" he sustained during the assault.
"He's doing terribly," Taylor said. "He did not deserve the beating he took from that many officers. Mesa police have a culture of hurting and shooting and killing people and this is just another incident that shows how badly this department needs to be cleaned up."
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Pixabay