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Video Surfaces of LA Cop Kicking Suspect In The Head

REUTERS/Fred Prouser

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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An LAPD officer who arrived at the scene of two officers investigating a 2014 robbery apparently kicked an already subdued suspect in the head, and it was all caught on tape, according to an LA Times story published Monday.

The LA Times got a hold of October 2014 footage that shows Los Angeles police officer Richard Garcia elbowing and punching a suspect in his head.

Police officers pulled up to Clinton Alford, Jr., as he rode his bike in South Los Angeles. Officers ordered him to stop and Alford jumped off his bike and fled. Alford claimed that police did not identify themselves as law enforcement.

Two officers chased him and tackled him to the ground.

In the video, Garcia is seen to arrive on the scene after the two officers had tackled Alford. He kicked Alford in the head and punched, elbowed and kneed him.

Garcia kept his knee in Alford’s back for two minutes after other officers moved away.

For the past two years, the department would not release the footage, even after prosecutors agreed to a plea deal that let Garcia spend no time in jail. The LA Times was able to get a copy of the footage through an order from an L.A. County Superior Court judge.

Chief Charlie Beck disagreed with Garcia’s use of force, saying in a report that Garcia’s actions were not justified “given Alford’s limited and unapparent resistance.” The Police Commission and the chief decided that Garcia had violated department rules.

Prosecutors charged Garcia with assault seven months later. If convicted of the felony assault charge, Garcia would have faced a sentence of up to three years in jail.

Prosecutors agreed to a deal earlier in the year that let Garcia plead no contest and spend no jail time. Garcia would have to do community service, donate $500 to a charity by late May of 2017, obey all laws and not go near Alford.

Under that deal, Garcia could then enter a new plea. He could plea to a misdemeanor charge that would replace the felony charge. Garcia would be on two years of probation.

If Garcia does not show up to court, he could get sentenced to jail.

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Amber Randall