San Diego police launch an internal investigation into cops who were caught on camera punching a Black man
Two San Diego police officers are under internal investigation after the video showing them punching a Black man who allegedly was urinating in public.
A video was made by a bystander who said shew felt unease when the cops approached a man who she knows as a local homeless guy. That is why she took her cellphone and began filming. The incident began at about 9 a.m.
"I see him around all the time. He's harmless. He's just homeless," 34-year- old Nicole Bansal said Thursday. "He's very easy to recognize, because he always has a big orange life vest on."
The video lasts 4 minutes and shows an officer, who was not identified, punches the man in the face at least three times. The second cop punched the man in the legs a dozen times. The cops can be heard yelling at a man ordering him to stop resisting and "put your hands behind your back."
The homeless man wearing an orange vest around his neck punched a cop back once and even reached for the cop’s belt and tosses some object from it.
"The man would not stop to speak with officers therefore an officer held the man to detain him," Takeuchi said in a statement. "Despite the officers repeatedly telling the man to 'stop resisting,' the man would not comply. One of the officers struck the man several times."
"They did not try to de-escalate. ... If they had just approached the situation calmly and tried to de-escalate, we wouldn't be here," she said. "That man didn't go out to take those guys down. The cops went there with that intention to take him down ... and the resulting fight is what ensued."
According to police spokesman Lt. Shawn Takeuchi, the Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the incident and review the cops’ bodycams.
"These people are meant to serve and protect the community. They have a right to also serve and protect that man. He's a member of this community," Bansal said. "I've lost a lot of faith ... in the police as I see these videos on social media. But I still never thought I would be on the receiving end of witnessing something like this."