Video that surfaced on social media shows a Hemet police officer punching a young man in a parking lot, during an arrest that has prompted a use of force investigation from the Hemet Police Department.
The violent confrontation happened Monday afternoon near several businesses in Hemet.
The man, identified as 19-year-old Edmund Franklin by police, can be heard in the video telling the officer that he will take off his backpack in an intense verbal exchange. The officer then punches the man, and a scuffle ensues.
The fight between the man and the officer lasts for several minutes, with witnesses telling the officer to stop. The officer can be seen wrestling the man to the ground.
Hemet Police said they were called to the area around 3:30 p.m. by people who worked in the nearby businesses.
"Hemet Police Officers responded to a parking lot near the 200 block of East Stetson Ave. to investigate a complaint of a alleged panhandler," police said in a statement. The initial caller "told 911 Dispatchers that the subject was becoming aggressive with employees from a nearby business who asked him to leave."
The man was told he was trespassing and needed to leave the area, and that if he returned he would be subject to arrest, Hemet police said in their statement.
The man then left, but returned around 4:13 p.m., at which point an employee at a nearby business called the police again and informed police that he was refusing to leave.
Police then returned to the parking lot.
"The first responding officer approached Mr. Franklin and attempted to detain him for a trespass violation when a use of force occurred," the police statement said. "Mr. Franklin was ultimately arrested for Trespassing, Resisting an Officer, and Attempting to Disarm an Officer."
Franklin was booked into jail, and it is unknown if he has posted bail, according to Hemet Police Department Captain Glen Brock.
Hemet police said they were aware of the video's social media circulation and are conducting a use of force investigation into the violent incident. No body camera footage of the incident will be released at this time.