Kicking Cop Sells Gang-Life Clothing: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Los Angeles
    An officer kicks the head of a suspect surrendering to police.

    LOS ANGELES -- The officer caught on tape kicking a suspect in the head reportedly owns a clothing company that glorifies gang life, according to the Whittier Daily News.

    The newspaper identified the officer in question as George Fierro. According to records at El Monte City Hall, he owns Torcido Clothing, the Whittier Daily News reported.

    The clothing line "features some of the hardest authentic jail house threads for the streets. Straight from East L.A., Califas..." according to its website.

    And in case you're not familiar with the market for jail house threads for the streets, "Torcido" is Spanish street slang for "Busted."

    El Monte Officer's Kick to Banger's Head Defended

    [LA] El Monte Officer's Kick to Banger's Head Defended
    The attorney representing officers working for the El Monte Police Department defended the kick as proper police procedure.

    The site even has a full glossary to help translate words found on its clothing. Some highlights include:

    "GREEN LIGHTERS: When the EME puts a gangsters name on the 'hit list' to be assaulted or killed."

    "DROP OUT CREW: When a gang member informs on his gang crimminal [sic] activity to quit the gang."

    "186.22186.22: CA Penal Code; Gang Allegation Section Sentence enhancement when crime committed for the benefit of the gang (also requires to register as a Gang Offender)"

    You can see the irony starting to form: the cop who kicked an unarmed gang member in the head is reportedly selling gang-life clothing.

    Cal State Fullerton ethics instructor Jay Wachtel told the Whittier Daily News that Fierro's business is "completely inconsistent" with his duties as an officer.

    "I can't possibly imagine a law enforcement officer selling clothes that glorify gang activity," Wachtel told the newspaper.

    The Whittier Daily News also reported that Fierro filed a lawsuit against the El Monte Police Department for allegedly being passed over for promotions because he reported suspected misconduct of other officers.

    This whole thing started Wednesday when video from NBC4's chopper captured an officer kicking a suspect lying on the ground with his arms and legs spread. The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Richard Rodriguez of El Monte. Police say Rodriguez is a known gang member and was flashing gang signs during the high-speed pursuit that led to his arrest.

    The officer, who the Whittier Daily News identified as Fierro, has been reassigned to non-patrol duties, while El Monte police and the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department conduct separate and concurrent investigations, said El Monte Police Lt. Ken Alva.

    The department is withholding judgment until the investigations are completed.

    "I worked internal affairs for four years and I have learned that you do not make a decision in a vacuum," El Monte Police Chief Tom Armstrong said Wednesday. "I do not know what was in the mind of that officer, as to why he did that. I saw the individual turn his head toward the officer."

    Rodriguez was booked on suspicion of felony evading. He also was held for possible parole violation, meaning he is not eligible for bail.