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San Luis Obispo police officer on leave following 'unsettling' video of arrest

Posted at 8:57 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 02:07:23-04

A San Luis Obispo police officer is on leave following an arrest over the weekend.

Video of the incident is circulating on social media and has brought the department’s use of force policies into question.

In a statement released Monday evening, police said they are aware of the video, adding that it shows a portion of an arrest in progress Sunday and that the video “may be unsettling to viewers.”

The nearly 20-minute video, already viewed more than 9,400 times on YouTube as of Monday evening, appears to show three San Luis Obispo police officers trying to take a man into custody.

Near the start of the video, the man can be heard saying, “I’m not resisting,” while an officer says, “You’re under arrest.”

It’s not clear how long the officers had the man on the ground in the street before the video started.

While the officers attempt to take the suspect into custody, the man then asks why he’s under arrest. An officer replies, “You have warrants, you’re under arrest.”

Less than a minute into the video, an officer can be heard saying, “I’m gonna punch you in the face if you don’t let go of that handcuff right now.” A few moments later, the officer can be seen punching the man in the head three times while the words, “Let go” are heard again.

A few moments later, the suspect is seen with handcuffs on as he’s rolled over and placed on the curb.

Police say the initial call was for reports of a man dancing and yelling in the road on the 800 block of Froom Ranch.

A police spokesperson says the suspect had multiple outstanding arrest warrants from another county, resisted arrest and force was used.

Police say the suspect was treated at the hospital and medically cleared prior to being booked into county jail. An officer also reportedly sustained an injury during the incident and was also treated and released at the hospital. “He has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of an administrative investigation,” police said in an email to KSBY.

“We review each use of force incident to ensure policy is followed, and this incident is being reviewed as part of this process,” San Luis Obispo police said in a statement, adding they "thoroughly investigate and review the arrest and use of force.”

The department is asking people to be patient through the process.