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Video of Santa Maria police arrest sparks online debate

Video of Santa Maria police arrest sparks online debate
Posted at 6:24 PM, Oct 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-21 22:45:00-04

A video surfaced over the weekend of a man's confrontation with Santa Maria police and it has gotten quite the attention online due to what some believe is excessive force.

Since the video was posted to Facebook Sunday, hundreds of people have left comments saying they believe police overreacted. Others said police were only doing their job.

According to the Santa Maria Police Department, officers pulled over the man in the video in the 800 block of West Barrett Street Sunday for suspicion of driving under the influence.

In the video. police can be heard telling the man to put his hands to his side.

Shortly thereafter, police fire what appear to be pepper-spray bullets and move in.

Witnesses said this prompted what some of them are calling a violent confrontation.

"All of a sudden we heard police sirens that were coming our way. Shortly after that, we saw two cars and I thought maybe they were going to some sort of emergency," said one resident in the area.

One of the videos posted to a Facebook community page has close to 400 comments and 1,400 shares.

David writes, "Not sure what the punching was for. he was hiding his hands though."

Deanna commented, "They should've focused more on restraining his hands behind his back instead of beating him."

Others stated the man should've done what police were instructing and don't see anything wrong with the video.

Santa Maria police did not want to comment as they are still looking into the incident. Police did say the officers were not wearing body cameras but did have patrol cameras in their vehicles. KSBY News has requested that video.