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No Charges Filed Against Mesa, Arizona Police Officers Caught On Video Beating Man

A review by the Scottsdale Police Department has found that Mesa officers were legally justified in using force to restrain a man in a hallway in May 2018.

During the incident, video from a surveillance camera shows officers surround and punch Robert Johnson multiple times.

Charges filed against Johnson were later dropped by the city attorney. The officers were placed on leave and will remain so until the Mesa Police Department concludes its own internal investigation.

Mesa police were also responsible for the January 18th 2016 execution-style shooting death of an intoxicated Texas man in a La Quinta Inn.
 link to www.abc15.com

Police: No charges against officers who punched Robert Johnson in hallway

Max Walker
3:02 PM, Aug 27, 2018
10:14 PM, Aug 27, 2018
mesa | southeast valley

MESA, AZ - A review by the Scottsdale Police Department has found that Mesa officers were legally justified in using force to restrain a man in a hallway back in May.

During the incident, video from a surveillance camera shows officers surround and punch Robert Johnson multiple times.

Police responded to an apartment complex near Main Street and Horne on May 23 after getting a call from a woman who said her ex-boyfriend was trying to break into her apartment. Police arrived and found the ex-boyfriend, Erick Reyes, 20, along with Johnson. Both were detained.

The surveillance video, released in June, shows officers approaching and speaking with Johnson shortly before the altercation occurs. The officers are then seen punching Johnson several times before taking him to the ground.

"Johnson's body language was projecting he was preparing for a physical altercation," one of the officers wrote in the report. "It appeared Johnson was trying not to sit down in order to retain a position of physical advantage by remaining on his feet."

Charges filed against Johnson were later dropped by the city attorney. The officers were placed on leave and will remain so until the Mesa Police Department concludes its own internal investigation.

"Violence is ugly, it looks terrible, no matter what," said Sgt. Nate Gafvert, President of the Mesa Police Association. "Mr. Johnson was giving several indicators that he was going to resist arrest, that he was being verbally abusive to the officers. It was pretty clear that there should absolutely be no files charged on these officers."

Johnson's attorney, Benjamin Taylor, feels differently.

"You had footage from the apartment complex, Mesa police can't finagle their way around this and cover their butts. You see what happened on the camera, he was brutalized, he was unarmed, and he was not a threat," said Taylor.

The Mesa Police Association disagrees and said Johnson's non-compliance made him a threat.

Sgt. Gafvert said the use of force was in line with the officers' training.

"They could have absolutely detained him without the blows to the face if Mr. Johnson would have complied," he said.

"It's almost like a death blow, to realize these officers will not be held accountable," said Taylor. "As a lawyer, we will hold them accountable civilly. So Mesa and the Mesa Police Department, even though they might walk free today, they won't walk free with a civil suit."

The incident was one of several this year where Mesa officers have been investigated for using excessive force.

Earlier this month, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced charges would not be filed against Mesa officers in another incident involving a teenage robbery suspect.

In that case, officers found a 15-year-old near the scene of a reported armed robbery. Video from an officer's body camera showed police roughly handling the suspect after he had been taken into custody.



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See Also

Mesa, Arizona Police Brutalize Suspect Minding Own Business On His Cellphone
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2018/06/436086.shtml

The Mesa, Ariz., Police Department is under scrutiny after releasing video on Tuesday that showed officers brutally beating a man who appeared to be minding his own business while on his cellphone.

Of course, despite the fact that there is video evidence showing unnecessary force, a fact that Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista acknowledged based on his initial review of the footage, Batista also had to apparently make excuses, claiming that the man didn't follow officers' orders to sit down.

"I don't feel that our officers were at their best," Batista said, according to the Arizona Republic. "I don't feel this situation needed to go the way that it went."

Batista noted that the incident is being investigated and that four officers who were involved in the case have been put on paid leave pending the investigation. The officers involved have not been identified.



Cop Murders Man Begging For His Life (GRAPHIC VIDEO) January 18th 2016 Incident
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2017/12/435374.shtml

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