WEST LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A video depicting an officer with the Veterans Affairs Police Department swinging his baton at a suspect on the ground more than two dozen times has raised questions about possible police brutality.
In a span of 32 seconds, the video shows an officer swinging his baton 32 times at the suspect on the ground. The incident happened in West Los Angeles on the VA campus. The suspect was believed to be struggling with another person on the pavement. The officer only stopped swinging when additional officers arrived.
"It seems very excessive to me," said retired Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Cheryl Dorsey as she watched the video. "It looks more like punishment. It looks like one officer was just wailing his baton.
"I can't think of anything this individual could have done prior to the video starting or later that would warrant that kind of use of force."
The incident appears to have happened on a street outside the Veterans Home of California on the VA campus and the video was from one of these security cameras set up outside the building. The home is a long-term care facility for veterans and also houses homeless vets that were moved in off the streets.
The video was recorded off of a monitor which shows the date and time stamp as Jan. 16 at 4:10 a.m. At this time it is unknown what led up to the incident and if the suspect was charged.
The VA police confirmed that there is an independent investigation taking place and at least one officer has been removed from petrol service and placed on desk duty. Sources say the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also investigating.
Dorsey believes that it does not seem like the officer followed standard policing policy.
"We're taught and trained to use only that force necessary to overcome resistance," she said. "And I didn't see them trying to overcome any resistance. I see these officers, like I said, publishing this individual for whatever reason."
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