Los Angeles Police officers were caught on video brutalizing a mentally ill homeless man and violently arresting him, then later fabricating portions of the police report that differed from what played out in the footage.
The cellphone video (shown below), released on Wednesday, shows eight LAPD officers attempting to arrest a homeless man named Samuel Calhoun Arrington – using a Taser as well as punching and hog-tying the man in an effort to apprehend him on the Venice boardwalk.
“He was doing absolutely nothing to anyone,” attorney Nazareth Haysbert told KTLA of the Aug. 7, 2014, incident. “He was no danger to himself or anyone else. He was trying to enjoy a day at the beach.”
The incident escalated after officers reportedly attempted to present the 52-year-old with a ticket for supposed municipal code violations including “property outside of designated space” and “items placed on city beach.”
“If you don’t sign the ticket, you will be arrested,” one officer can be heard telling Arrington in the video. Though Arrington remained in a chair the entire time, officers began attempting to restrain him and eventually resorted to using force to do so. They can be seen punching him, tying him up, and carrying him away to a police vehicle.
“He was hospitalized and later charged with felony resisting arrest and remained in county jail for over one month on the charges,” a letter released by Haysbert said.
Shockingly, the incident that played out on camera was notably different than the one described by officers in the police report, Haysbert claims.
“Suspect Arrington lunged at one of the officers and attempted to grab his Sam Browne (belt),” the report stated. The report also said that after an officer grabbed hold of Arrington’s arm, the man “immediately broke the officer’s hold by aggressively moving his arms forward and then pulling his arms toward his body.” Neither allegation was consistent with the events that played out in the video.
“The video recording raises concern that the LAPD officers intentionally fabricated and, or withheld crucial evidence that may have resulted in the dismissal of criminal charges against Mr. Arrington,” Haysbert wrote in a letter to the FBI. “The willful concealment of this evidence holds criminal implications for these officers.”
Arrington’s sister, Cleo Battle, said she was disturbed by the actions of the officers in the video.
“To me, what they did in full view of every person on Venice Beach was to strip a homeless man, someone mentally ill, of their last shred of humanity,” Battle told KTLA.
Arrington was involved in another incident a few years prior, in which he was “beaten by LAPD officers so badly that he needed 18 staples to close a large wound on his head,” according to Haysbert’s letter. “He was hospitalized and then jailed for over 18 months where he suffered repeated episodes of fainting, severe headaches and syncope.”
“Collectively, these incidents reveal a pattern or practice of criminal deprivations of Mr. Arrington’s civil rights,” Haysbert stated in the letter. Haysbert has requested an FBI investigation into the disturbing incident.
Watch the violent arrest play out below.