San Diego cop caught on camera repeatedly punching homeless man while trying to arrest him for 'peeing in public'

A SAN Diego cop was caught on camera repeatedly punching a homeless man while trying to arrest him for allegedly peeing in public.

Shocking video shows officers put Jesse Evans, 34, in a headlock before landing several blows to the face while he lies on the ground.


Police shared bodycam footage of the incident, which took place in La Jolla at around 9am on May 12.

A witness also recorded some of the violent arrest, which was also made public by the San Diego PD.

Police alleged Evans had urinated in the street and was hit while resisting arrest.

The bystander video shows two officers grab hold of Evans and wrestle him to the ground.

While one holds him down, the other appears to pound Evans several times in the face.

The witness, who looks to be in a car, yells "stop" before a walkie talkie is flung across the street and one cop rips off his face mask.


Meanwhile, the bodycam footage shows cops pursue Evans while saying: "You can’t urinate in public.

"People have to pass by here and watch you urinate? That’s not cool, man."

Evans then shouts: "Do you want me to p*** my pants?" What the f*** is wrong with you?"

One officer tells Evans to "relax boss" as he walks away.

Later, two officers attempting to detain the man as he shouts "leave me the f*** alone".

They accuse him of resisting and then the footage goes black with just the audio to go by, before the sound also cuts out.

Video from the body-worn cameras only captures one or two of the repeated punches, while the bystander clip shows several more.

The other cop's body camera was deactivated during the arrest, only filming the aftermath. It is not known why.

At least eight officers are on the scene by the end of the clip, which sparked public outrage.

'DISGUSTING'

The two officers caught on camera have not been identified, but police said an internal affairs investigation into the arrest is underway.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the arresting officers were from the Neighborhood Policing Division, which is designed to help those on the street.

The SDPD said Evans "would not stop to speak with officers therefore an officer held the man to detain him".

"Despite the officers repeatedly telling the man to 'stop resisting,' the man would not comply," the SDPD added.

Evans later admitted to unbuttoning his pants to urinate, but said he did not have time to do so before officers arrived.

During a press conference where he wore a bandage under his left eye, he said: "I hope I'm the last victim of such nonsense," 10News reports.

"I hope that we can hire reasonable individuals to look out for us and protect and serve our greater good in a better way, represent us in a better way as a community, as a nation."

Evans was booked on suspicion of resisting arrest, as well as battery of a police officer, after a hospital evaluation.

Homeless advocate Michael McConnell criticised police for their response.

He told the Union-Tribune: "Jesse Evans is a perfect example of why police should not be on the front lines of [the homelessness] issue.

"I think when he repeatedly asked the officers, 'What is wrong with you?' that sums it up — what is wrong with San Diego police?

"It's not just those officers, we’ve seen this mistreatment for years."

He also questioned whether Evans was stopped because he is "black in La Jolla". "It wreaks of that to me," he added.

And Francine Maxwell, president of the San Diego NAACP branch, wrote in a letter to Police Chief David Nisleit: "The SDPD has a de-escalation policy that requires you to use time and space to defuse a situation, rather than immediately move to force.

"It seems to us that there was ample space to de-escalate. Why didn’t they?

"We want to know if this is how the SDPD envisions de-escalation. Did it really require eight police officers to subdue this barefoot homeless man?"

The People’s Association of Justice Advocate has hired an attorney to represent Evans, The Times of San Diego reports.

President Rev. Shane Harris said he was "disgusted" by the video, released on Friday.

He said: "What we are watching is a failure of police work. The reason why is because what you are looking at is police outside of the scope of what they’re supposed to be doing.

"Instead of understanding that this is an unsheltered human being, who deserves dignity and respect, they treat him with disrespect and disgust."

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