VIDEO: Man says he was punched by EPPD officers during courthouse dispute

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Joshua Long walked into the El Paso Municipal Courthouse for a traffic violation trial, ready to pay a ticket.

Long’s attire immediately sparked a dispute and ended with Long being restrained by multiple El Paso Police Department officers. He was wearing sweat pants and sandals.

Long said the bailiff told him that he would have to wait three to four hours to be seen by a judge due to his attire, which made him upset and police were summoned to the scene.

In video surveillance footage, Long can be seen standing in a lobby area. The video shows him being approached by several officers while standing in the area. After what appears to be a heated discussion, Long held up paperwork and started to back away from officers.

“I took a step back, kept my hands where they could see them and at that point and time, they rushed me,” said Long.

At least five police officers can be seen apprehending Long as they bounce off the lobby walls near a vending machine. Eventually, Long is brought to the floor, with several officers on top of him and one on a nearby bench. He is then handcuffed.

The incident happened in April and comes to light months later as Long and his attorney consider a lawsuit against the El Paso Police Department.

KTSM 9 News reached out to the El Paso Police Department about the incident, and they sent the following statement.”

“The case is under investigation by Internal Affairs. We will not comment on an open investigation,” read a statement from Sgt. Enrique Carrillo, an EPPD spokesperson.

The city’s website says “all persons present in the courtroom shall be clean, neat and dressed in a manner that shows dignity and respect for the court.”

Watch the surveillance video here:

In an affidavit filed by EPPD, Long was charged with resisting arrest and the charges have since been dropped. The affidavit, in part, states, “defendant (Long) took a bladed fighting stance and continued to yell at officers, disregarding their request for him to step outside and to lower his voice.”

It was then that multiple officers went toward Long and grabbed him. The affidavit filed by police said officers struck Long three times with closed fists for “pain compliance.” It stated Long was punched twice in the head and once in the stomach.

Police claim Long was moving his arms away “extremely aggressively” to free himself from their grip as they tried to arrest him. Once he was on the floor, Long’s body is seen moving around as several officers were on top of him while security attempted to hold his feet.

An affidavit written by police said Long was moving his body and attempted to pull his arms underneath him during the arrest, causing officers to “constantly lose control of his hands.” He was eventually handcuffed, the document states.

At one point, Long’s legs began to move in a way that officers later described as “symptoms of a seizure.”
Long said he did indeed have a seizure and blacked out during the incident.

“I went to the ground, and at that point when I went to the ground, I woke up in my own blood. They said I had a seizure when I went to the ground. I think it’s on the full-length video. But they said I had a seizure, and that was the result of the assaulting me the way that they did,” said Long.

The video ends with what appears to be police carrying Long out of the Lobby. Blood is visibly on the floor and a police officer returns to take photographs of the scene.

Long, along with his attorney Joe Veith, plan on filing a lawsuit against all parties involved. In addition, Long filed a complaint with the El Paso Police Department Internal Affairs Division for how he said he was treated after the incident at the jail.

“They pulled up the video from the courthouse, they started watching it — the officer, the arresting officers I think all 10 of them were there — they started high-fiving each other and congratulating each other,” said Long.

Long’s attorney said they are waiting to obtain the surveillance video from inside the jail.

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