An October 2014 surveillance video (below) has surfaced that shows Los Angeles Police Officer Richard Garcia punching, kicking and kneeing a black suspect, Clinton Alford Jr., who was being held on the ground by two other cops.
Alford was chased by the other officers who suspected him of being part of a robbery, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was never charged in connection to the robbery.
After the two officers catch Alford, he flips over on his stomach, and starts to move his arms behind his back as the cops put handcuffs on him.
Suddenly, Garcia comes running up, and starts kicking and beating Alford.
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Garcia and an unidentified officer told LAPD investigators that Alford resisted arrest while on the ground.
But Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck noted in his report that Garcia’s behavior was not reasonable “given Alford’s limited and unapparent resistance."
In the video, Garcia drives his knee into Alford's back, and drives another knee into Alford's neck for some time, for about two minutes, while other officers stand around.
When a second police car pulls up, Garcia and another officer suddenly decide to pick Alford off the street and drag him to Garcia's squad car.
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In October, several unidentified officers told the Los Angeles Times that Alford had surrendered and was not resisting arrest.
Alford, who was booked on suspicion of drug possession and resisting arrest, and pleaded not guilty, told the Los Angeles Times at the time: "I was just praying that they wouldn’t kill me. I just closed my eyes and tried to hold on."
Garcia pleaded guilty to assault under color of authority in a plea deal in May 2016 that kept him out of prison.
The Los Angeles Times requested a copy of the video under the California Public Records Act, but the LAPD turned it down. The LAPD said the video was an investigative record that was exempt from public disclosure, but a judge ruled against the department.
The video never belonged to the LAPD, but was rather surveillance video from a security camera at a nearby factory building.
Citlali Alvarado, a worker in the factory, recalled her shock while watching the incident live on a security monitor.
"I didn’t think it was a proper action," Alvarado stated. "The victim was already held down."
Alvarado said some police officers came in the building, asked if there were any cameras and had Alvarado show them the video, which she said they viewed; two laughed.
According to Alvarado, Garcia then came in and recorded the video with his cellphone.
The Los Angeles Times notes that court records show that Alford has pleaded not guilty to pimping, rape and assault with a deadly weapon, but it's not clear if he is still charged with suspicion of drug possession and resisting arrest.