FULLERTON, Calif. — The department already under scrutiny for the death of Kelly Thomas is now investigating a wrongful arrest made by its officers.
Veth Mam shot video on his cellphone that contradicted officers’ written and verbal accounts of his October arrest, the Los Angeles Times reported. When he appeared in court in July, he was found not guilty, which attorney David Borsari attributes to the footage.
Fullerton Acting Chief Kevin Hamilton ordered an internal investigation Wednesday to determine how the mistake was made.
"Based upon reviews of the video, it is Capt. Hamilton's preliminary determination that we arrested the wrong guy that night," Police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich said. "It was a very chaotic scene that night."
In police reports about the incident, officers alleged that Mam jumped on an officer’s back, choked him, and pushed him, but on tape, all that is seen is an officer knocking the phone out of Mam's hand before restraining and arresting him.
Goodrich said the officers did not lie about the events, adding that there was another unidentified man – not Mam – whose actions matched those in the report.