The Los Angeles Police Department has suspended an officer after a video clip showed him allegedly striking a stolen vehicle suspect, according to an LAPD press release.
The officer is accused of hitting one of two suspects in an alleged carjacking of a gray Honda CR-V that began in the Mission area of the San Fernando Valley on Saturday. The chase ended after the SUV crashed in the city of San Fernando.
After the suspects were taken into custody, video captured by a community member showed what appeared to be the officer punching one of the detainees after the suspect, who was strapped into a gurney for medical transport, taunted and spit at the police officers.
After the alleged assault, other officers can be heard asking for a spit mask to prevent the suspect from spitting again.
The LAPD learned of the video on Sunday and began an investigation into the conduct of the officer, who has had his peace officer powers suspended, pending the results of the investigation, according to the statement. The officer was also sent home.
“The images in the video are deeply disturbing and while we must wait for the investigation to be completed, the Department will act swiftly in any instance of excessive or unnecessary force,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement.