A Los Angeles attorney is calling for a federal investigation after cell phone video emerged Wednesday showing a non-aggressive homeless man being violently arrested, directly contradicting the arrest reports filed by a group of LAPD officers.
Video of the August 2014 incident begins by showing 50 year-old Samuel Arrington surrounded by eight officers while sitting in a chair near next to his umbrella on Venice Beach. Officers can then be seen trying to issue him a citation for violating several city ordinances.
According to the police report, Arrington “had an open backpack placed at his feet where passersby could deposit donations.” The citations apparently totaled at least five violations, including the size of the umbrella, “vending outside of a designated space,” his “use of city property for vending,” tampering with city property and moving city property outside of its “designated space.”
After Arrington refused to accept the citation, officers moved in like a pack of rabid dogs, taking him to the ground and almost immediately discharging their tasers. Onlookers, seemingly perplexed by the use of force, yelled at the officers…
“You do not need to tase him!”
Soon after the violent attack, one officer peeled off the pile and sought out the woman who was recording the event and ordered her to get back, while physically trying to push her away from the action. The woman, to her credit stood her ground and even warned the officer to not put his hands on her again. The officer eventually backs off revealing at least six officers piling on Arrington in the way cops like to do. which has been known to lead to death. After roughly five minutes of LAPD’s finest roughing up the homeless man, they eventually hogtied and carried him head first to jail, as if it were part of a slave auction, the camera woman points out.
Arrington ended up in the hospital after his arrest and spent over a month in jail on felony charges of resisting arrest. Attorney Nazareth Haysbert came to the defense of Arrington after seeing the chilling discrepancies between the officers’ statements and the video.
“The video recording raises concern that the LAPD officers intentionally fabricated and, or withheld crucial evidence that may have resulted in the dismissal of criminal charges against Mr. Arrington,” Haysbert stated. “The willful concealment of this evidence holds criminal implications for these officers.”
According to Haysbert, the police report states, “Suspect Arrington lunged at one of the officers and attempted to grab his Sam Browne (belt).” Haysbert also said the report alleges that after an officer grabbed Arrington’s arm, he “immediately broke the officer’s hold by aggressively moving his arms forward and then pulling his arms toward his body.” Additionally, the video calls to question whether officers suppressed evidence by not including cell phone video recorded by LAPD Sgt. Skinner, who can be seen recording the event. Haysbert has outlined all of the discrepancies in a letter he sent to the FBI, in hopes that federal agents will launch a civil rights investigation.
Arrington is no stranger to the abuse dealt out by LAPD. According to Haysbert, he has been victimized at least two other times…
“He was beaten [in 2011] by LAPD officers so badly that he needed 18 staples to close a large wound on his head. Collectively, these incidents reveal a pattern or practice of criminal deprivations of Mr. Arrington’s civil rights.”
Arrington used to work for the city’s parks department as a coach for children, but fell on hard times. Arrington’s mental illness became more severe, and he eventually lost his job and driver’s license, ultimately becoming homeless. His sister said he decided to remain in L.A., despite having no immediate family there, because he enjoyed the beach and the warm weather.