Mesa PD releases body-cam video of police beating man

The Mesa Police Department released body camera video from one of the officers becoming violent with a man at an apar...

Posted: Jun 7, 2018 1:56 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 1:56 PM

The Mesa Police Department released body camera video from one of the officers becoming violent with a man at an apartment complex.

In one of the videos, there is no audio for the first 30 seconds, which includes what led up to the three officers and one sergeant to start hitting the man.

However, in the second video from a different body camera, the officers are heard telling the man to sit down and when he doesn't, that's when the violence starts.

Police said the man who was punched, identified as 35-year-old Robert Johnson, was there with a friend, and that Johnson's friend was allegedly trying to enter his ex-girlfriend's apartment, which prompted her to call 911, just before midnight on May 23.

Police said Johnson didn't follow police commands to sit and then was kicked and punched while being taken to the ground, according to the video.

It goes on for several minutes and at one point, an officer was seen slamming Johnson's head into the elevator door before Johnson is finally hog-tied, with a mask put over his face and hauled off.

"We are made of human beings and human beings make mistakes," said Mesa police chief Ramon Batista.

The three officers and the sergeant are now on administrative leave and an investigation is underway.

But the president of the police officers' union is questioning what he calls a rush to judgment.

"Based on what we've seen, we are, we feel strongly that the officers used the appropriate amount of force but again, this is something the report will tell," said Nate Gafvert, president of the Mesa Police Association.

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