Video shows officers punch, mock suspect

Mesa Police Department says it's reviewing another controversial arrest and video -- the latest showing an officer repeatedly punching an unarmed man who was later mocked by an officer as he was on a hospital floor covered in blood.

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 2:59 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 3:01 PM

The Mesa, Arizona, Police Department, already under scrutiny over allegations of excessive force, says it's reviewing another controversial arrest and video -- the latest showing an officer repeatedly punching an unarmed man who was later mocked by an officer as he lies on a hospital floor covered in blood.

The emergence of bodycam video from a January arrest comes after Mesa police released videos last week showing the arrest of a teenager, who at times screamed in pain while being searched.

The department was already reeling after surveillance footage emerged of officers punching and kneeing an unarmed man in a May 23 arrest. The charges against the man, Robert Johnson, were dropped on Thursday, CNN affiliate KNXV reported.

The latest video shows the January 28 arrest of Jose Conde, 23, who was in the passenger seat of a car that Conde's lawyer said was stopped for driving without headlights. Bret Royle, the lawyer, said he received the bodycam videos from prosecutors after he rejected a plea deal in connection with Conde's case.

In videos from several officers, it appears the traffic stop quickly escalated into a scuffle after Conde stepped out of the car. At least two other officers tried to subdue Conde. A police report said Conde resisted arrest and threw punches at an officer who found cocaine concealed in his sock.

In one part of the video, someone is heard saying "f--- you" before Officer Joseph Mis punches Conde, who appears to be handcuffed.

Conde screamed in pain and, at one point, told the officers, "I can't breathe."

"Quit fighting," one officer tells Conde.

An officer is heard telling Conde in the scuffle, "You picked the wrong people to fight, brother."

"I didn't fight you guys, dude," Conde responded. "You guys just started punching me."

'Bless his little heart'

Conde was taken to a hospital after suffering a cut to his ear when officers pushed him into a wall, according to the police report. Police said Conde tried to escape from the emergency room but an officer grabbed him and forced him against a wall.

In one video, a hospital worker walks with an officer over to Conde, who was bleeding from his head.

"Bless his little heart," the officer said.

Looking down on the bloody Conde, the officer said, "Awww."

"Man up," the officer added.

In a statement Thursday, Police Chief Ramon Batista said the department was reviewing the incident and "as more events come forward we will carefully review each incident as appropriate."

"Simply put, the tape released ... by media outlets does not tell the full story concerning this arrest," he said.

"With emotion running high on all sides, we know that despite our differences we are working towards the common goal ... to make the Mesa Police Department better than it has ever been."

'Laughed at me while I lay in a pool of my own blood'

At a news conference with Conde on Thursday, Royle said the bodycam videos showed the police reports were "at a minimum embellished, if not falsified." He said he was not planning a lawsuit against the department and wanted his client exonerated of the charges, including drug possession, resisting arrest, escape and aggravated assault.

"There are several officers within the Mesa Police Department that have demonstrated over the last couple of weeks their willingness to put themselves above the law rather than to protect and serve it," he said.

"In doing this they have disobeyed our trust. They violated the trust of the community. They violated the trust of fellow officers because when officers act like this it causes citizens to question the integrity of other good officers."

Royle said Conde was on probation for a DUI-related charge.

At the news conference, Conde read a statement that said he hoped his case brings "meaningful change" to the department.

"I was searched," he said. "I was thrown to the ground. I was heaved into a wall. I was (tasered). I was punched over and over by multiple cops. I was gouged in the eye and I was hit in the head with a massive police flashlight. After all of this, they laughed at me while I lay in a pool of my own blood barely conscious."

Police chief calls for investigation

Last week, the emergence of two earlier Mesa police videos prompted Batista to ask the Police Executive Research Forum "to conduct a comprehensive and fully independent investigation looking into our use of force events over the past three years, as well as our policies, procedure and training."

Batista also asked former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley to undertake a separate independent investigation of the department, he said.

One incident involved the arrest of a 15-year-old suspect on May 17 in response to a call of an armed robbery, according to police.

In bodycam video, an officer can be seen placing a foot behind the suspect's head while he is on the ground. The officer notes in the police report the boot was there to "keep him from getting up."

As police pull the suspect up and take him to a squad car, one officer is seen grabbing and holding the suspect by what the police report describes as a pressure point behind his ear.

The teenager is pushed against the squad car and repeatedly says, "I'm just trying to get home to my grandma." An officer again appears to hold the suspect by the pressure point near his ear while searching for a gun. The teenager begins screaming in apparent pain, continually denying he has a gun.

In the report, an officer said he "applied pressure to (the suspect's) mandibular angle pressure point below his left ear" to keep him from moving.

In the footage, officers pull the teenager's handcuffed arms behind his back and toward his head, and he appears to react in pain.

The suspect was arrested and booked on multiple charges, including armed robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Two officers were placed on administrative leave after footage of the boy's arrest was reviewed. An internal investigation is ongoing.

In a separate incident, on May 23, police said Johnson, 33, resisted arrest and did not comply with commands. But an attorney for Johnson said he did nothing to provoke the officers.

Surveillance footage showed officers punching and kneeing Johnson during the arrest.

Five officers have been placed on leave as a result of the case, according to the Mesa police.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 728811

Reported Deaths: 13405
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion996911740
Lake53548966
Allen40529675
St. Joseph35596550
Hamilton35536408
Elkhart28470441
Tippecanoe22375218
Vanderburgh22293396
Porter18701307
Johnson17923378
Hendricks17199315
Clark12943191
Madison12612339
Vigo12437246
Monroe11873170
LaPorte11856210
Delaware10667186
Howard9895216
Kosciusko9390117
Hancock8260140
Bartholomew8058155
Warrick7777155
Floyd7653178
Wayne7035199
Grant7032174
Boone6687101
Morgan6557139
Dubois6150117
Marshall6016111
Dearborn580077
Cass5794105
Henry5699103
Noble559883
Jackson501172
Shelby490696
Lawrence4522120
Harrison435072
Gibson434792
DeKalb427185
Clinton427053
Montgomery423688
Whitley395239
Huntington390080
Steuben385557
Miami381166
Knox371890
Jasper364747
Putnam359660
Wabash353479
Adams341054
Ripley339170
Jefferson329281
White313554
Daviess296299
Wells291381
Decatur284792
Fayette279562
Greene277885
Posey271333
Scott265653
LaGrange265570
Clay259447
Washington240332
Randolph239781
Spencer232131
Jennings229849
Starke215953
Fountain212046
Sullivan211442
Owen198756
Fulton194840
Jay193630
Carroll188520
Orange182654
Perry182637
Rush173025
Vermillion168843
Franklin167835
Tipton162845
Parke146116
Blackford134632
Pike133734
Pulaski116645
Newton107734
Brown101941
Crawford99514
Benton98514
Martin88615
Warren81815
Switzerland7858
Union71010
Ohio56511
Unassigned0414

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1082815

Reported Deaths: 19428
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1258081400
Cuyahoga1119722115
Hamilton799721205
Montgomery514061014
Summit47145945
Lucas42119788
Butler38338584
Stark32273906
Lorain24997481
Warren24274298
Mahoning21546588
Lake20653369
Clermont19761238
Delaware18512133
Licking16418212
Fairfield16176199
Trumbull16032468
Medina15268264
Greene15063244
Clark13983299
Wood13080189
Portage12839203
Allen11639232
Richland11349199
Miami10670217
Muskingum8803133
Wayne8793211
Columbiana8778229
Pickaway8564121
Marion8523135
Tuscarawas8473244
Erie7888154
Hancock6914127
Ross6846155
Ashtabula6805170
Geauga6686148
Scioto6406101
Belmont5881167
Union570848
Lawrence5549102
Jefferson5525151
Huron5430119
Darke5355123
Sandusky5347120
Seneca5282121
Athens519158
Washington5155109
Auglaize490784
Mercer480385
Shelby469293
Knox4486110
Madison435661
Putnam4278100
Fulton422469
Ashland421789
Defiance419697
Crawford3975107
Brown394157
Logan381676
Preble379598
Clinton372163
Ottawa366679
Highland355062
Williams339275
Champaign331658
Guernsey315653
Jackson312551
Perry294950
Morrow284939
Fayette281950
Hardin270864
Henry268666
Coshocton265257
Holmes2603101
Van Wert243463
Adams237852
Pike237634
Gallia235349
Wyandot231055
Hocking215362
Carroll191547
Paulding172640
Meigs144840
Noble133337
Monroe132042
Morgan108423
Harrison108137
Vinton83115
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 31°
Angola
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 28°
Huntington
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 34°
Decatur
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 31°
Van Wert
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 34°
Rain moves in overnight into Sunday morning and looks to hang around much of the day, likely forcing Mother's Day plans indoors
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events