Society

Officers Accused Of Brutality Against Black Man (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Mesa Arizona PoliceMesa Arizona Police

Two officers in Mesa, Arizona, are accused of committing police brutality against Jason Michael Barton, an African-American, on June 19 (video below).

During a press conference on July 5, Barton said the officers came after him for alleged jaywalking.

"They tackled me," he said, reports KTVK. "One grabs my hand this way, the other one grabs my hand this way, telling me to stop resisting arrest."

A fuzzy 35-second video of the incident, filmed by Jonathan Jimenez, shows police swinging their fists at Barton, who is squirming on the ground.

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The Mesa Police Department released a police body camera video of the incident on July 5, and said they didn't know there was even an issue with the arrest until the news media asked. The department says Barton had not filed a complaint.

The department said there is an internal affairs investigation into the incident.

A police spokesman said an officer approached Barton for jaywalking, Barton ran away, officers chased Barton on foot and took him down on the street.

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On the police body camera recording, Barton was asked by the police why he ran, and he replied: "I just had weed on me and I didn't want to get caught."

Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a local civil rights activist, condemned the actions of the police in a press release, reports KTVK:

During the nighttime encounter, which police claim was sparked by Barton illegally crossing a street, officers can be seen repeatedly and viciously punching, kicking, and beating Barton after throwing him to the ground. Barton was unarmed and posed no threat to the officers, himself, or the public.

Maupin announced during the news conference on July 5 that a demonstration would take place on July 6 that would "paralyze streets in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa."

Barton skewered the police for past alleged abuse during the press conference:

This is not the first time, this is not the second time, not the third time, not the fourth time, it's not the fifth time -- we can count into the 20s that I've been in handcuffs just for the most tedious of things.

Being stereotyped, being brutalized that way I've been over the years, it's a way to make a person go from being one of the most happiest people on this planet to trying to really create a new murderer. And that's what they're doing.

We need to stop this. We're destroying families. We're destroying relationships. We're destroying people's jobs so the Police Department can feed their kids and take off our kids' plates.

My dad's dead from the same stuff. I do good things. I stay out of trouble because I gotta be an example for my son.

Sources: KTVK (2) / Photo credit: Mesa0789/Flickr, Ghormax/Wikimedia Commons, Mesa Sheriff's Office via KTVK

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