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Calif. police defend video of violent arrest

Porfirio Santos-Lopez was admittedly drunk and high on methamphetamine while resisting arrest

By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles Times

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Long Beach police are defending the actions of officers shown on a video in a violent encounter with a suspect.

Sgt. Aaron Eaton told KTLA-TV that in the incident recorded in the video 46-year-old Porfirio Santos-Lopez was uncooperative when police tried to arrest him near Locust Avenue and South Street in Long Beach on Monday.

"That individual seemed to be irrational. He was combative," Eaton told KTLA. "In the video that is on YouTube, he can be seen kicking at the officers."

In the nearly five-minute video (note: vulgar language) Santos-Lopez can be seen lying on his back in the middle of the street surrounded by Long Beach police officers.

Officers then use a Taser on Santos-Lopez and strike him repeatedly in the legs and other parts of his body with batons. At times, Santos-Lopez shouts back, but it's unclear what he's saying.

Eaton told reporters Tuesday that officers were trying to get Santos-Lopez onto his stomach but he initially did not cooperate.
Police were sent to the area in response to two 911 calls about Santos-Lopez, Eaton told KNBC-TV.

Another video, taken before police arrived, showed Santos-Lopez arguing with two men and punching one of them, KNBC reported.
Santos-Lopez was eventually arrested. NBC reported that Santos-Lopez admitted to police that he was drunk and high on methamphetamine. He was treated at a hospital for a broken arm and received stitches, KNBC reported.

Copyright 2013 the Los Angeles Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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