A Hawaiian cop was stripped of his gun and placed on desk duty after he was caught on video slamming a man to the ground before trying to seize the camera from the witness.
The incident took place on Saturday and resulted in no arrests, leaving Honolulu police officer Siave Seti Jr. with little explanation as to why he felt the need to attack a man before trying to seize a phone.
The video was posted on a local news site, which did not post the entire video, only the part where the cop slams and a portion of where the cop tried to seize the phone.
The man slammed to the ground, Eric Musrasik, told the news site that he was standing in front of his uncle’s home with friends when the cop rode up and became aggressive.
The 25-year-old man ended up with a fat lip, sprained back and several scratches to his neck.
According to Hawaii News Now:
On the video, the police officer can be heard threatening to arrest the man but no such action was taken.
It’s not clear from the video what led up to the incident but Musrasrik and his friends say the attack was unprovoked.
“I went to (video) record him because I can feel that’s one bad cop right there,” said Isa Lucky, who filmed the incident.
Musrasrik said Seti grabbed the phone but that he was able to grab it back.
“That constitutes trying to destroy evidence. That’s private property. There’s absolutely no basis to seize the phone,” said Myles Breiner, Musrasrik’s attorney.
“This is the type of message that is going to be sent to the community that a police officer can assault someone with impunity.”
The news site reported that he is “pressing charges” against the police department, but the video segment reveals he simply filed a complaint with the department, which is merely a formality that usually goes nowhere and carries no legal weight.
Watch the segment below.