Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday he was “troubled” by a video that appears to show an officer kicking a handcuffed man in the head during a July 3 arrest in Hollywood.
The officer was removed from the field pending the results of an investigation, Moore told the Police Commission.
The confrontation began about 7:15 p.m. July 3 when officers responded to a report of a battery suspect at a marijuana dispensary in the 1600 block of Cahuenga Boulevard. Officers arrested a man on suspicion of battery and another man on suspicion of resisting or obstructing an officer, police said.
The video, taken by a bystander, showed “what could have been an officer’s boot striking the suspect’s head,” LAPD Officer Drake Madison said in a statement last week.
Moore said the department was “very seriously” reviewing the use of force depicted in the video. Moore said he was “troubled” by the video, but declined to comment on specifics of the officer’s actions or the investigation. But he sought to assure commissioners the department was aware of the incident and discussing it with officers in the context of when to use force.
“We all can look at the imagery and see it,” Moore said. “Striking a person in the head with their foot or with any impact device is something that we take very seriously. It is one that is not authorized as a force option — other than deadly force situation — because of the likelihood of serious injury or death.”
When pressed by Commissioner Dale Bonner on whether the department was “ignoring” the incident until the results of the investigation, Moore said the department “does not operate in a vacuum.”
“It is a balancing act to the fairness of due process, but it is one also that we don’t put a `hands off’ or `we’re not going to talk about this until the final results are in,’ as far as the potential implications on the other parts of our operation,” Moore said.