A jury has found that two Pomona, Calif., police officers used excessive force and unlawfully arrested a Los Angeles Police Department officer.
According to the Los Angeles Times, jurors reached a verdict Wednesday and awarded Sergio Arreola with $260,000 after fighting to clear his name since the incident in April 2012, when the then-off-duty rookie LAPD cop stopped to help a relative at a traffic accident.
“This was about showing the officers and showing Pomona that they can’t be treating others the way they treated me,” Arreola, 27, told the Times.
Arreola was fired after the incident when he refused to resign from the department or take a guilty plea.
According to the Paco Villa Corrections Blog, the L.A. County district attorney charged Arreola with three misdemeanor counts of resisting, obstructing and assault on an officer.
During his trial, an audio recording by one of the arresting officers, Eric Hamilton, was played for the jury. In it, Hamilton is heard ordering Arreola to “stop resisting,” even though Arreola claims he wasn’t. Arreola is also heard telling bystanders to record the scene.
The jurors listened to Hamilton and the other arresting officer, Chris Tucker, as they told their side of the story.
“I just about broke his left arm. I wanted to break his arm,” Hamilton said. “I had my arm around him to choke his ass out,” Tucker said.
The jury found Arreola not guilty, and the LAPD offered Arreola his job back. The Pomona police department declined to be interviewed about the jury award.