California Police Under Investigation After Beating Of Suspect Caught On Videotape

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 11.43.07 PMThere is another controversy over the level of force used in an arrest. The latest such controversy comes from Salinas California where police are investigating a new videotape and witness complaints about a beating given to a mentally ill who was being arrested after shoving his mother into a busy street. While 28-year-old Jose Velasco is shown trying to rise at one point, police below are shown beating him with batons and shooting him with Tasers while he is on the ground.

Officers said that they found Velasco screaming, running into traffic, jumping on cars, and attacking his mother. Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin insisted that Velasco was “a violent man assaulting his own mother” but admitted that the videotape raised serious concerns about the police response.

The police stated that when officers responded, they “saw Jose Velasco slamming the female’s body into the pavement of the northbound lane of North Main Street while heavy traffic was passing by. As the officers tried to get Velasco off of his mother by pulling him away, Velasco began to violently resist and attacked the officers.” Thet would certainly justify the use of force in my view. There is a danger in viewing such scenes with the benefit of hindsight and distance. Officers often have to act quickly and, when an individual is clearly a danger to himself and others, they often have to use force. The problem here is not necessarily the force initially used but the extent and the length of time involved in the use the use of force. That concern is particularly great with regard to the second officer who arrives and continues to beat Velasco with a baton as other officers are sitting on him or holding him.

The videotape is another example of the value of videotape in the proving of police abuse. We have been following the continuing abuse of citizens who are detained or arrested for filming police in public. Despite consistent rulings upholding the right of citizens to film police in public, such abuses continue as well as efforts to curtail this right.

What do you think?

Source: NBC

92 thoughts on “California Police Under Investigation After Beating Of Suspect Caught On Videotape”

  1. Oh, and as predicted, there was a huge rally chanting, “We want justice” in McKinney, TX.

    We want justice! No investigation! Thank goodness the intellectually superior “just know” what happened.

  2. DBQ – the undisputed fact that we, the public, have been burned before by media narratives is exactly why I have learned, through experience, to always demand a full investigation before stating anything other than initial impressions.

    I do not know how many people have gone on ride alongs, but I have. Subduing anyone high on drugs is very difficult. They described on the radio that meth heads can have the “strength of gorillas.” I don’t know about how strong they are. Most of the meth heads I’ve seen are thin, hyper, and have sores all over. I certainly wouldn’t want to grapple with one. With our weather, we get a lot of addict homeless.

    If anything, I think this is a good time to review what options are available for subduing a subject who is past all reason, possibly even trying to bite the officers. (I am unclear from the radio program this morning if they were referring to this subject biting or other similar meth cases.) You can see the guy still struggling to rise after being tazed. None of us would be ambulatory after being tazed. So if a taser didn’t work, then what? How can you subdue him without wrestling? Because the guy could have needles on him. Can the officers here on the blog explain what the protocol is in their jurisdiction on how to subdue someone violent who’s either mentally ill and/or high?

    I do not condone excessive force, so I want this investigated and the protocol reviewed. Since we are on that topic, I also would like pepper spray and mace discontinued. They were developed to be non-lethal force, to try to save lives, but they are deadly for asthmatics and those with other respiratory difficulties like COPD. I personally think that playing the sound of dental tools would be far more effective.

    This reminds me of one of my mother’s friends who used to work for a mental health facility. She had to quit because she kept getting beat up, head butted, bitten, and otherwise injured on the job.

  3. I don’t need to look at the post to know that the perp was likely Hispanic. (although I did read the article and the associated links.). I live in California and have family that lives south of Salinas and grew up in that general vicinity. The entire area is now basically Mexico in name and in culture. If the incident was in my area of Ca it would be high probability of Indian or Redneck meth head being the perp.

    Squeeky was being sarcastic and I am helping her 🙂

  4. @Squeeky and DBQ, are you looking at an earlier version of the post? The guy who was arrested is named Jose Velasco, clearly Hispanic (in name).

  5. how to respond to the mentally ill and/or on drugs.

    Maybe some of those tranquilizer darts they use on Grizzly Bears? Probably should have some GPS capability so they can track down their sleeping bodies and retrieve them from under Mrs. Robinson’s rose bushes..

    Big nets hanging from trees?. Just get the wacko nut job to run into the net area and voila…..hanging upside down like a giant pinata with nothing good inside of it.

    Pit traps like they used in Vietnam, except without the pointy stakes? Put a big bouncy air thingy on the bottom so we don’t hurt the poor widdle criminals. You could grab several lunatics and retrieve them as a group.

  6. squeeky

    What, no poem? From the video, there was substantial post subduction adrenaline rush walloping by the fourth officer. This may be on the line but with all the other stuff, the police are in dire need of rethinking how they subdue a person, if they subdue a person, and why. In this case a net would have worked very well. Cocoon the suspect in a net and strap him into an ambulance, no need for the adrenaline fueled walloping. Wrists handcuffed to ankles?

  7. how can anybody know what to think without knowing for sure what the race of the alleged victim is

    @ Squeeky

    If it is Salinas there is a 90% chance he is Hispanic and 75% illegal to boot.

  8. They were talking about this here in CA on news radio. They said the man was out of his mind on meth, had dragged his mom into the street beating her, slamming her head into the pavement, and throwing her into traffic. Nothing they did would keep him down. They were talking about how hard it is to subdue meth heads who are trying to bite you.

    The video is concerning, and we need a thorough investigation. In addition, department policy in general should be reviewed on how to respond to the mentally ill and/or on drugs.

    An example of the difficulty dealing with people high on drugs is the cannibal bath salt attack in FL.

  9. Well, this is obviously a trick post, with a trick question about what we think about the story. Because, how can anybody know what to think without knowing for sure what the race of the alleged victim is??? And knowing for sure the race of the cops??? That JT is such a kidder!!! I can’t believe all you people fell for it! My goodness, whatever happened to critical thinking skills???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  10. SteveGroen

    Great post. This has been happening for decades without much accountability.

  11. That should be false narratives and LIES.

    Remember… reap what you sow and the results of believing the packs of lies and promoting the distortions only encourage the violence.

    Long long hot summer. Enjoy.

  12. The more false and biased stories that we get, like the one yesterday about the trespassing teens in Texas, and stories that are conflated and biased against the police based on practically zero information or snippets of information that turn out to be FALSE………the more I am inclined to cheer on the police who are beating the crap out of some of these low lives.

    People get all excited and up in arms and later, when the facts are revealed, they were excited about a pack of lies.

    Are there bad cops. Of course and they should be dealt with on a case by case basis Are they ALL bad? Eff no. Are the cops outnumbered by the bad actors. Heck yeah. They are the front line in the war that most of you who comment here refuse to acknowledge.

    The more false narratives and likes and distortions that I receive from this site and other places that are supposed to be “news reporting agencies” the less I believe them and the more I want the police to just go ahead stand down and let the chips fall where they may.

    We will be ok/safe/protected in our area for several reasons, which I will not go into.

    However, if this police bashing keeps up, it is going to be a long long hot summer in the cities.

    You reap what you sow.

  13. “…then they must be the weakest men on the face of the earth.

    I have seen crazy people throw grown men like rag dolls.
    So no, you’re wrong.

  14. There are four cop holding the guy face down on the street and he is still being beaten with clubs. If these fat ass donut guzzlers cannot pull his hands behind him to get handcuff on when he is so controlled, then they must be the weakest men on the face of the earth.

  15. G De La Paz

    You take the argument closer to simplifying the whole encounter with a bullet. “I told the suspect to lay face down in the dirt. He refused so I shot him. You see, I could have been injured. The suspect could have disarmed me and killed me and others. I made a judgement call.”

    It seems to me that with training and perhaps equipment like nets or whatever, the number of these incidents would be reduced. The concept of a police force with absolute power beholding to none seems to be only countered by those nut cases that propose that the founding fathers actually wanted us to go around armed to the teeth.

    The problem and solution both lie in the middle. Police officers that can’t control their adrenaline need further training or desk jobs.

  16. ” The melee in the ambulance seems highly unlikely as the guy was handcuffed.

    Handcuffed how, in the ambulance; behind his back, or to the gurney?
    If the latter, as I suspect, he could easily attempt to grab people inches away from him.
    I do not doubt he attempted to bite.

  17. “Watch from 40/44 seconds on. The guy is not moving

    His legs are moving.
    You cannot see his right hand.
    I suspect he was being hit on his right hand/arm.
    The angle of the video makes it impossible to be certain that he is not moving.

    But you are arguing that he was hit unnecessarily for anywhere from 7 to 11 seconds beyond the time you deemed him ‘subdued.’
    7 seconds too far? Seriously?

  18. How anyone can make a decision on this and many other video tapes is beyond me.
    Police abuse? Abuse on criminals who’s intent is to rebel against the law? Please stop the nonsense and sensationalizing of police brutality. When a person is told to stand still, lay down, back up, or whatever, just do it.
    We need to stop sympathizing with those who are rebellious and continuously disrespectful of the law. They have a deep hate for the police–until they need help and protection.

  19. Pogo

    Watch from 40/44 seconds on. The guy is not moving and the fourth officer still lays in a half dozen wallops, adjusting the guy’s body between blows. The report of five officers is bogus. The guy was subdued with three. Then a fourth came in and got his licks in. The fifth came later when there was not enough room for any more officers. The melee in the ambulance seems highly unlikely as the guy was handcuffed. In any event, there seems that there should be a more effective way to contain someone who is out of their head. Tie the ankles together. Flip him on his belly. Tie the wrists together. One officer per arm. Etc.

    The use of batons seems to invite an adrenaline rush on the part of the officer as well as the suspect. Is this necessary or simply a symbol of police power?

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