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Santa Maria Police respond to viral video of man’s violent arrest

A video has gone viral on Facebook, showing how Santa Maria police arrested a man. The department says it is investigating the incident.

The video shows a man on the ground with police vehicles around him while officers shout instructions to him. The man lifts his head off the ground when police shoot a projectile that emitted a white gas next to him. Then an officer approaches the man and climbs on his back. It appears the officer is punching him. More officers become involved. A police dog is released and bites the man’s leg. Officers appear to throw more punches before the video ends.

Santa Maria police said the man was driving around cars stopped for a stop sign at the corner of Boone and Western, merging into the opposite lane of traffic and not stopping at the sign. When a patrol officer caught up to the man’s SUV, he noticed other infractions. The car continued to drive for several blocks before finally stopping on West Barrett.

“I think something to consider is that that video is just a small portion of the big picture, ” said Lt. Jesse Silva. ” [The department] will investigate it from a standpoint of tactics, training, and equipment, to see if our officers used the proper tactics.”

SMPD always launches an investigation whenever use of force is involved. The investigation could take a couple of weeks. Lt. Silva said the report will be sent to the Chief of Police for review. He will ultimately decide whether any policies were violated, and if the officers involved should face consequences.

It is unknown if the man at the center of the video remains in police custody. He was arrested for driving under the influence and resisting arrest. He may face other charges as well.

It is unknown at this time the extent of the man’s injuries.

KEYT 2019

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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