EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso Police Department is defending the actions of a handful officers during an arrest that was captured on video and later circulated on social media.
The 39-second clip shows five officers on top of a screaming man who is on the ground in a parking lot. One policeman is seeing punching the suspect several times as the man is held down.
“Why are you punching me?” the man can be heard yelling as he cries.
The video was shared dozens of times on Facebook on May 14, prompting comments from users.
“Why is (the officer) hitting him if he is already down? Unbelievable,” wrote on person.
“I’m at a loss for words,” said another user.
EPPD said the incident began with a family violence call in the 10500 block of Shannon Place. Police said they believed the suspect assaulted and threatened to kill a family member.
The department told KTSM the man left the scene but was found in the 11000 block of Vista Del Sol Drive. EPPD said the suspect resisted being handcuffed by officers who arrived.
“Some force was required to effect the arrest but based on the offender’s failure to comply and his resistance against officers, that level of force appears to be within departmental policy,” said EPPD spokesman Sgt. Enrique Carrillo.
“However minor, the use of any force is never pleasant to see,” Carrillo added, “Especially when seen with biased views, preconceived notions, or without having the full context and perspective of what led to those few seconds of video that may have been captured by a passerby.”
EPPD did not identify the suspect nor any of the officers involved.