VALLEJO, Calif. – The Vallejo Police Department is under the spotlight due to the use of force used by one of its’ officers during a take down of a person accused of being under the influence of narcotics.
A takedown by a police officer caught on video is drawing criticism from witnesses who said the officer went too far. But as usual, the video only tells a portion of the story.
The encounter occurred Friday afternoon when police responded to a 911 call claiming a man was acting “crazy” at a gas station in Vallejo, California, CBS San Francisco reports.
Witnesses said the first arriving officer chased the suspect for several minutes until the man finally gave up and sat down in the middle of the street.
There are potentially several things occurring that are not contained in the video. While this incident is being viewed by millions online, judgment should rest with Vallejo Police Department since they will have access to the officer’s perspective. No one else will.
In the video, the officer strikes the suspect with his fists and his flashlight, as the suspect repeats, “I am God, I am God.” Off-camera, someone in the crowd that had gathered can be heard yelling “police brutality.” The officer later pulls a gun on the crowd, telling them to “get the f— back.”
Vallejo Police Department news story
Police trainer Don Cameron told CBS San Francisco the officer used appropriate force to restrain the man, even if the video is hard to watch, reported CBS News.
“Basically that’s what they’re trained to do,” Cameron said. “When we’re down on the ground, we want to get the person in custody as quickly as we can and we use personal weapons.”
Former Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan agreed the initial contact was appropriate, but said he’s troubled that the use of force continued after another officer arrived. Jordan specifically called out the officer pulling his gun on the crowd.
“I understand the officer needed to try to keep the people from getting close to him,” said Jordan.” I don’t necessarily agree that’s the best use of force. It does look bad. It does appear inappropriate.”
Yet Jordan was not the officer sensing danger from potentially hostile individuals.
Vallejo police said Internal Affairs is reviewing the video to investigate all aspects of the arrest including the officer’s use of profanity.
One officer was injured in the confrontation. Neither the identity of the officer nor the nature of injury was provided.
The suspect was jailed and is facing two misdemeanor charges to include being under the influence of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.
(Feature image screenshot from CBS News report)