“All three of them started beating me on the head….they beat me like a bunch of thugs”
San Antonio, TX — A violent trio of San Antonio cops won’t miss even one day of work after they mistook an innocent man for a drug suspect and brutally beat him.
In May of 2014, Roger Carlos was taking pictures of a building in the 10600 block of Westover Hills Boulevard in San Antonio, TX, when his life changed forever.
Carlos was photographing a building of what was soon to be home to his wife’s medical practice when all of the sudden he was ransacked by an undercover drug task force officer and two SAPD SWAT members.
The officers were looking for Josue Gonzalez, who fled from police after they tried to arrest him for possessing a controlled substance.
Gonzalez had ditched his car in the parking lot of a restaurant that happened to be a few hundred feet from where this father of three was excitedly taking pictures of his wife’s new venture.
Officers approached Carlos and before he could comply with their demands, they began to pummel him, striking him over 50 times.
“All three of them started beating me on the head,” said Carlos, “It was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me.”
Carlos was hospitalized after the beating. He was treated for a large gash above his eye and a broken tooth.
Swelling of his head was so severe, doctors performed a CT scan of Carlos’ head as well.
Carlos said Thursday he has undergone two procedures to relieve neck pain because of the beating, and still has only limited movement. He told KENS that he has racked up around $15,000 in medical bills so far.
“I could understand taking somebody down hard. I can understand the need for that and securing them, but that’s not what happened. I got on the ground, I was no threat to anybody, I was fully compliant,” said Carlos, who has no criminal history.
According to KENS, all three officers were originally given 15-day suspensions late last year, following an internal affairs investigation. Former Chief William McManus shortened all three suspensions to five days after follow-up meetings with the officers, the city’s human resources department said Wednesday.
Two of the officers have been identified as Carlos Chavez and Virgilo Gonzalez. The third officer was not identified, because of the confidential nature of his position with SAPD.
All three officers used accrued leave time instead of serving their suspensions.
“These guys, they beat me like a bunch of thugs,” Carlos told KENS5 news on Thursday.
When KENS 5 news interviewed SAPD police chief William McManus, he stated that “Clearly it was a case of mistaken identity. From the report that I’ve read, from the photo that I saw and from your description, I’ve not seen anything at this point that would indicate to me that anything out of order happened.”
Just to recap, the chief of police thinks that an innocent man being beaten to the point of hospitalization by incompetent police officers mistaking him for another man, and causing $15,000 in medical bills, indicates that nothing “out of order happened.”
Chief Anthony Trevino released the following statement Thursday:
This case was thoroughly investigated in detail and discipline was imposed after careful consideration of all factors. The outcome in this case is indicative of our desire to serve our public and protect the rights of all involved.
Sadly, many people will see no problem with the actions of these officers or their non-existent repercussions. Many people will think that a few eggs must be broken to make an omelet or that “collateral damage” must be tolerated in order to protect the citizens of the US.
But this is not the case.
Violence from police is only tolerated because there is a monopoly on police services. Their long standing monopoly on the control and use of force is accepted as the norm. But it doesn’t have to be.
Most innocent people do not like to be beaten, tased, and killed. If this natural preference to avoid violence were allowed in a market scenario involving security services, the services that were able to resolve situations peacefully, rather than resort to violence, would flourish.
Unfortunately the state maintains its monopolistic grasp on the idea and implementation of security. It acts outside of these market forces that would inevitably have sent any other “service” industry into failure and bankruptcy long ago.