A video released on Feb. 26 appears to show San Francisco Police Officer Raymond Chu striking a homeless man, Bernard Warren, with a baton on Feb. 11.
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who represents Warren, released the video (below) on YouTube.
Adachi claims Chu also pepper sprayed Warren.
The confrontation began when Chu reportedly forced Warren, who was sleeping, to get off a bus that had come to the end of its line.
After Warren got off the bus, Chu allegedly continued to follow him.
Chu says Warren came at him with clenched fists, but part of the video seems to contradict that claim, noted KTSF.
Warren, who had to be hospitalized, was charged with threatening an officer.
"This sort of force was totally unnecessary. It was completely over the top," Adachi told The Huffington Post. "If you find anyone sleeping on a bus, it's reasonable to wake them up and ask (them) to leave. Sure, but is that reason to beat (someone) down?"
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr defended the actions of Chu as being part of his training, reports CBS San Francisco.
Suhr said Warren had threatened Chu, but failed to mention that Warren seems disoriented in the video. Suhr added that his officers are trained to deal with mentally ill people.
If convicted, Warren would spend a year in jail, which means taxpayers will foot the bill for his shelter, food, medical care, legal bills and appeals.
Warning: This video contains strong language.