The Whole World is Watching Long Beach Police Beating of Man in the Street: Video
Indeed, these videos spread so fast and caused so much alarm that the Long Beach Police Department has felt obliged to explain.
First, let us set the scene. Porfirio Santos-Lopez, 46, and another man were fighting in the middle of the 300 block of South Street around 6 p.m. Monday when Long Beach Police officers rolled up.
The video below picks up with Santos-Lopez on his back where ... well ... take a look:
It appears to many observers that Santos-Lopez was in a defensive position as cops repeatedly hit him with a baton and shot him with a Taser device. His injuries sent him to the hospital.
After the online uproar, Sgt. Aaron Eaton, a Long Beach police spokesman, explained to City News Service that Santos-Lopez was "uncooperative, irrational and combative" to officers who arrived at the scene.
Eaton claims what the video does not show were earlier moments when Santos-Lopez started fighting with officers--before a Taser put him on the ground.
A bald officer appears in the videos to be wailing on defenseless Santos-Lopez with a black baton, but Eaton said that was due to the man on the ground kicking at the cop, who at one point had the stick knocked out of his hand.
The video also fails to show how Santos-Lopez, as he was being put in handcuffs, kicked an officer in the face, according to Eaton, who added the men in blue saw evidence of alcohol intoxication and heard him say he'd been using meth.
Santos-Lopez likely will be booked on suspicion of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, battery on the individual he was fighting with in front of a liquor store and public intoxication, Eaton said.
Well, the suspect presumably will be once he's out of the hospital. Meanwhile, the department has launched a use-of-force investigation, but the officers involved remain on the street, according to Eaton.