El Centro, CA -- A graphic video has surfaced on Facebook showing a half dozen police officer beating a man while their K9 tore into him. The El Centro Police Department has since opened an investigation.
The video shows multiple police officers around suspected car thief, 23-year-old Elizardo Saenz. The officers are seen beating Saenz with batons as the man recording pleaded with them to stop.
As the K9 is tearing into the suspect's flesh, officers are yelling 'stop resisting' as they continue the attack. As the Free Thought Project has reported numerous times in the past, police often yell 'stop resisting' to suspects who are being mauled by a K9 -- completely ignoring the impossible nature of remaining still as your flesh is ripped apart by an animal's teeth.
According to the ECPD, the incident stems from a call they received at 9:33 a.m. Officers responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in the 1200 Block of N. 18th St. The vehicle was described as a black Volkswagen. Officers responded but were not able to find the vehicle, according to KYMA.
Later that afternoon, around 3:30 p.m., officers received a call from a family member who spotted the stolen vehicle. Once officers caught up to the vehicle, they attempted to pull it over. The driver was Elizardo Saenz.
While Saenz clearly made the wrong decision to either drive, or steal the vehicle, the officers' subsequent reaction was entirely unwarranted.
When police attempted to pull Saenz over, he fled. The ensuing chase, initiated by police, went through a parking lot and Saenz drove into oncoming traffic at one point, causing multiple vehicles to swerve out of the way.
As KYMA reports, officers followed Saenz in the stolen vehicle as he drove west on Scott Avenue and onto a frontage road near 1002 North Imperial Ave. Police said Saenz again drove into oncoming lanes and struck a parked vehicle causing the stolen vehicle he was driving to hit the curb and come to a stop on the sidewalk where it was disabled.
As the vehicle came to a stop, Saenz then fled on foot. When police caught up to him, they claimed he was 'physically combative' and resisted arrest. The video does not show the initial confrontation, however, and only shows Saenz on the receiving end of a police beat down.
Saenz was then arrested and booked into the Imperial County Jail on charges of felony possession of stolen property, felony evading with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, misdemeanor hit and run and misdemeanor resisting arrest.
Again, it is important to note that Saenz is no saint. However, the treatment we see in the video below is indicative of a major problem -- police taking out their aggression on suspects.
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Time and again, we've seen police chase after suspects who eventually surrendered only to be severely beaten down.
As the Free Thought Project reported in May, use of force investigations were launched by both the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and Massachusetts State Police after video emerged of multiple officers beating a surrendering motorist who had led them on a high-speed pursuit.
50-year-old Richard Simone lay prone on the asphalt, as at least six police officers from various agencies proceeded to beat him relentlessly as neighborhood children watched, in what appears to be — for all intents and purposes — retaliatory use of force for Simone having fled the original stop.
“He was surrendering, you know, he gave up — but I was like, ‘Oh my god, they’re really attacking him,’” Simone’s sister told7 News. “It was very shocking, to say the least. Disturbing to see that and to see when someone willingly gets out of the vehicle, goes to their knees, flat out on their stomach, their hands out — very shocking.”
Also in may, deputies Luis Santamaria and Paul Wieber are seen chasing Stanislov Petrov down an alley when Petrov decidedly stops and surrenders. Petrov is then shoved to the ground and severely beaten about the head and body with police batons. His attorney, Mike Haddad, said that his client suffered a concussion and broke nearly every finger bone in his hands.
That assault was also caught on video.
In August of 2014, multiple deputies with the Marion County Sheriff's office conducted a drug bust. During the bust, Derrick Price ran from deputies Jesse Terrell, Trevor Fitzgerald, James Amideo, Cody Hoppel and Adam Crawford. However, once he realized he could not outrun the pickup truck, he quickly stopped, put his hands up, and laid face down on the ground -- completely surrendering.
Upon reaching the unarmed, nonviolent, completely compliant, and prostrate man, the deputies proceeded to unleash a furious beating composed of kicks to the head, knees to the body, and countless blows from fists.
Price was left severely beaten and bloodied in the parking lot after the assault. The deputies would go on to lie and claim that Price was combative and resisting. Luckily for Price, however, the entire gang beating was captured on video.
And the list goes on.