A Los Angeles police officer convicted of assault for kicking and punching a man during a South Los Angeles arrest caught on video was spared jail time at his sentencing on Tuesday after fulfilling his end of an agreement made with prosecutors.
Richard Garcia, 36, quietly struck the deal with prosecutors last year, pleading no contest to a felony charge of assault under color of authority. The district attorney’s office gave Garcia the opportunity to avoid jail and have his charge reduced to a misdemeanor if he completed community service, followed all laws, stayed away from the man he kicked and donated $500 to a charity by this week’s hearing.
Superior Court Judge William N. Sterling accepted the deal at a hearing in a downtown L.A. courtroom and allowed Garcia to withdraw his plea to the felony and enter a new no-contest plea to a misdemeanor assault charge.
Garcia, his attorney, Robert Rico, and the prosecutor, Oscar Plascencia, all declined to comment after the hearing.
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