Cell phone video has emerged out of California of Salinas police officers beating a mentally ill man as he lay face down on the street.
After Jose Velasco, 28, was tasered and beaten by three officers wielding batons like baseball bats, a fourth officer arrived and began taking overhand swings with his club as Velasco lay in the street.
With three officers holding Velasco down and a fourth smashing away, a fifth officer raced to the scene to help finish the job.
Police were called to the scene by Velasco’s mother because he was running into traffic. Police claimed they began beating Velasco after witnessing him slam his mother into the pavement.
“He didn’t try to kill my mom,” said Antionette Ramirez, Velasco’s sister. “She walked away just fine. My Poor Brother. He is mentally ill and the cops had no right to keep hitting him he was already on the floor.”
Police reported that Velasco began to “violently resist and attacked the officers” when they tried to pull him away from his mother, and somehow Velasco was able to grab one of the officers’ taser gun and tore it free, prompting officers to begin tasing him. The cell phone video reveals no loose taser gun in the area.
Police also claimed the taser had no effect on Velasco, which is why they needed to viciously beat him with batons. Last January, Salinas police were caught on video throwing another vicious beating, strangely similar to the one given to Velasco. Videos of both beatings are below.
The Monterey Herald reported some interesting comments made by Salinas Police Commander Sheldon Bryan following the emergence of the recording of Velasco’s beating.
Bryan said officers were trying to determine if he had a weapon underneath him during the struggle, and claimed Velasco was suspected to be under the influence of methamphetamine based on “a family member’s statement,” but did not release the statement. Bryan also said Velasco was taken to a medical center for “minor injuries” and he attempted to bite a an officer and a paramedic.
The police have yet to release any dash cam video of the incident, but Bryan did mention that two officers were injured during the incident – one was accidentally struck by a fellow officer’s baton and another one suffered a sprained knee.
Velasco was later taken to county jail and charged with multiple felonies – assault with a deadly weapon, assault on an officer causing injury, resisting arrest and a parole violation.
The officers’ use of force is under investigation.
Call the Salinas Police Department at (831) 758-7090.