Porfirio Santos-Lopez, 46, is a father of three. ?At 6:00 p.m., Monday, September 2, he was involved in an altercation with another man. ?According to the LA Times, surveillance video showed Santos-Lopez hitting another man in the head. ?Police were called and approached him. ?That’s when the surveillance video begins to show police driving Porfirio between two squad cars, then knocking him to the ground, tasing him repeatedly as he was beaten by police.
Having successfully subdued Porfirio, the police then yelled at him to roll onto his stomach. ?Witnesses say that Santos-Lopez inquired why they wanted him to do so. ?At this point, you can witness what happened in the video below as he was beaten by police. WARNING! GRAPHIC!
Viewing the video, you get the sense that the woman taping it is frightened as she saw Santos-Lopez beaten by police. ?At times, she begins to weep and shakes throughout. ?She cringes whenever the officers hit the man with their batons, which they do on both his legs with all their might, his torso, collapsing one of his lungs, and breaking one of his arms – all after having him on his back.
Sure, the officers say they told Santos-Lopez to roll onto his stomach, which he refused to do, but there were more than half-a-dozen blue suits simply standing around watching him being beaten by police, allowing the bone crunching beating and repeated use of a Taser. ?According to Larry Smith,?a use-of-force expert and retired Fontana police sergeant and former training specialist:
…he must not have been that violent, because otherwise the other officers would have jumped in. They could have always just dog-piled him and then you’re not hitting him with a baton.
Smith also wanted to know why the officers didn’t just move in to handcuff the alleged criminal after they had used a Taser on him.
As with any police brutality investigation, other experts disagreed with Smith, stating that all the facts of the altercation were not available on the 4 and a half minute video. ?Greg Meyer, another use-of-force expert, and a former LAPD captain said that the baton use shown seemed to follow protocol.
Baton or metal pipe beatings are not unprecedented by any means. You ?may remember Meyer as an expert witness in the Rodney King case. He later wrote a scathing review of police procedures during that time in America’s history where he stated that “billy-club confrontations” were a tactic of first resort with police, and in subsequent cases, stated that other procedures, like pepper spray, should be used first so as not to incense bystanders seeing a person beaten by police. ?One may remember that, as brutal as Rodney King’s beating was, expert use-of-force witnesses on either side of the case maintained that a suspect being beaten by police was standard practice and within proper police protocol.
Regardless of expert analysis of the police tactics used, watching the video causes one to wonder if protocol shouldn’t be changed. ?Having someone beaten by police with batons may be a good tactic if he is a violent individual and attacking the officer making the arrest. ?But this isn’t the case here. ?Santos-Lopez was on his back with his legs up as thousands of volts of electricity coursed through his body with police officers surrounding him.
As Larry Smith stated, there is no reason these officers could not have flipped him over, forcibly hand-cuffed him, and carried him to a squad car. ?He didn’t have to be beaten by police to comply. He would have been on his way to a hospital to get the psychiatric help he needed, with minimal cuts and bruises.
Edited and published by CB