San Antonio, TX — A recently released in-car video from a San Antonio police officer’s cruiser gives America a rare look into the sadistic nature that thrives in some police departments. The video shows the officer agreeing to engage in a fist fight with the suspect in exchange for his freedom.
Last August, SAPD officer Matthew Belver arrested Eloy Leal for allegedly interfering with the duties of a public servant — a charge often associated with officers not wanting to be questioned or filmed. Leal was handcuffed and placed in the back of the cruiser for just a few moments before Belver began antagonizing him.
The video begins as Belver challenges Leal to a fight. The officer says that he’ll remove Leal’s handcuffs so the pair can fight.
“As soon as they come off, I’m gonna beat your a**, that’s what I’m going to do. You ready?,” Belver is heard saying.
After he removes the handcuffs, Belver continues, “There you go, there you go, now you can get out. Let’s go, run, do something, do something.”
Leal, knowing full well that Belver will be immediately backed up by the other officers on the scene if he takes a swing and possibly killed, refuses to fight. Instead of engaging in violence with the deranged officer, Leal apologizes for any disrespect.
His unwillingness to fight lands Leal back in handcuffs and back in the squad car. The professional officer then continues to berate the man.
“I thought something was going to come out of this. I thought you were going to (expletive) fight, like you said,” Belver is heard saying. “You had me all excited, I was ready for it.”
When Leal asks why he’s even being arrested, Belver can’t think of anything. He begins spouting off random charges, noting “I’ll think of something.”
As Belver drives Leal back to the station, the verbal abuse continues as the officer teases the man for the silly arrest in the first place.
“You’re like, Hey cop can I walk through here? Hey, some investigation you guys did. Who talks to people like that?” Belver is heard saying. “You had the chance to run, to fight, to do whatever, but you didn’t because not only are you stupid you’re a coward.”
Since the department became aware of the video, Belver has been suspended, but the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association disagrees with the discipline. According to ABC 12, Mike Helle, president of the SAPOA, says Belver should have never removed the handcuffs, but his behavior doesn’t rise to the level of being terminated.
“I think it was the end of his shift, he was tired, he works graveyards and I think this guy just got underneath his skin and it was something that he shouldn’t have let that happen to him,” Helle said, apologizing for the sheer insanity of Belver — throwing all logic, accountability, and professionalism out the window in the name of being ‘tired.’
To make matters even worse, this wasn’t the first time Belver has gotten in trouble for attempting to fight suspects. According to ABC 12, Belver was given a 30-day suspension for a similar incident that happened in 2009 which resulted in a conviction being overturned on a suspect he arrested.
“Matt had a problem with force issues and I think in the last five to however many years he’s been back he has not had a single issue at all,” Helle said, standing up for this problem cop again. However, Helle has no idea how many times this has happened before.
It is entirely clear from the video below that Belver never learned fighting suspects is not allowed.
Belver has been suspended indefinitely since this incident, but he’s in the process of appealing. If history is any indicator, he will be back out on the force in no time — challenging more innocent until proven guilty suspects to fist fights for his own sadistic pleasure.