Boyle Heights

LAPD Releases Body Cam Video of Violent Boyle Heights Arrest

The complaint also accuses the officer of spitting into Castillo's face during the attack.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The LAPD made public Tuesday segments of two officers' body-worn-camera video recordings that show more of what happened during a confrontation outside a church in Boyle Heights in which one of the officers repeatedly punched a man in the head. 

The punching was also captured by an eyewitness on cellphone video, and that recording became public last week. 

The edited video presentation posted on YouTube by the LAPD also captured the expletive-laden conversation between the man who was punched, Richard Castillo, and Hollenbeck Division Officer Frank A. Hernandez, who has been removed from patrol duty while the incident is investigated.

"Ain't nobody getting crazy but you," Castillo says as Hernandez orders the man to turn and face a fence to be detained or searched on Houston Street April 27.

"Put your hands behind your back, let's go," Hernandez says to Castillo. Within seconds of Hernandez touching Castillo's hands, the video shows Hernandez's body worn video camera is knocked to the ground.

Hernandez's partner's camera continues to capture a short standoff and an escalating exchange of words that ends with Castillo's challenge to a fight.

"The f*** you think I am," Castillo says. "You're going to f***ing punk me. You f****ing f*****!"

"Don't fight man," Hernandez says, as his partner's camera records her drawing and readying a Taser stun gun.

"Ain't nobody fighting," Castillo says as he stands facing the church fence with his hands behind his back. "You keep on man handling me I'm gonna f*** you up!"

Within seconds Hernandez has thrown the first punch and repeatedly yells, "F*** you man," as he slugs Castillo in the head and body. 

"F*** you b****," Officer Hernandez says as he swings at Castillo. The police video shows the punching and grappling lasts for about 30 seconds, then other officers arrive and handcuff Castillo.

The LAPD said Castillo refused medical treatment and, after being questioned, was released without being booked or cited on a criminal charge.

Chief Michel Moore directed the release of the video, which would typically be kept confidential because the punching did not lead to injuries serious enough for the department to consider the case a serious use of force.

Moore told the LA Police Commission Tuesday he didn't expect the body camera recordings to change minds about what last week's cellphone video showed.

“This incident is deeply disturbing. I don’t believe what’s shown here will change the description of (this incident) by me or others,” Moore said.

The chief told the commissioners he expected both the criminal and administrative investigations to be completed in a few weeks. Use of force and misconduct investigations at the LAPD often take many months or more than a year to finish. 

On Monday, Castillo filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles in federal court alleging he was the victim of excessive force. 

Castillo's complaint says that, "the male DOE officer began to violently strike Plaintiff in his face, head, and body, despite the fact that Plaintiff was compliant, cooperative, non-resisting, non-dangerous, unarmed, and non-threatening."

The complaint also accuses the officer of spitting into Castillo's face during the attack. 

The LAPD does not comment on the merits of pending lawsuits, as a Department policy. 

Hernandez's attorney, who also declined to confirm that Hernandez is the officer in the Boyle Heights video, told NBCLA that he believed the officer would be cleared of any wrongdoing.

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