Long Beach Police Defend Caught-on-Camera Violence

Video shows officers beating a man during his arrest after he kicked one officer in the head and punched others, police say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A violent arrest captured on video shows police striking a man with a baton and using Tasers on him. Police admit the video looks bad - but say it doesn't tell the whole story. The suspect, they said, started a fistfight with civilians and then attacked officers as they arrived. Kim Baldonado reports from Long Beach for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2013.

    The Long Beach Police Department is defending its officers after a caught-on-camera arrest shows officers beating a man who was on his back in the street.

    Posted on YouTube, the video was taken from a security camera outside of a liquor store on South Street.

    The video shows officers using both batons and stun guns on the man, who was on his back in the road -- but another surveillance video also shows the man getting aggressive with civilians. The man, Porfirio Santos Lopez, allegedly got into an argument with two other men, threw objects at them and engaged them in a fist fight, said Long Beach Police Sgt. Eaton.

    Officers said they arrived to an aggressive and combative Lopez after receiving two 911 calls. Four officers and one sergeant responded to the location.

    "As (officers) went to contact him, he began to punch them," Eaton said. "The individual fell to the ground and began kicking officers."

    The man told police to kill him when they arrived, Eaton said.

    One officer had his baton kicked out of his hand and later he was kicked in the head by Lopez, Eaton said.

    Lopez was booked on four counts -- the charges were not immediately clear -- and was in custody at a hospital with a broken arm and stitches. It's unclear if his injuries were suffered during the fight he had with the two men or during his arrest.

    Officials said Lopez admitted to being drunk and high on methamphetamine.

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