On Tuesday, KSEE 24 News exclusively obtained a video tape of two Fresno police officers punching a partially restrained homeless man, 52 year old Glen Beaty, as they arrested him.
The incident took place Monday morning just before 10 o'clock in an empty dirt lot near the corner of Bullard and Blackstone in northwest Fresno.
The person who recorded the video said while he did not want to reveal his identity, he felt compelled to hand it over to KSEE 24 News in hopes of protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
He told us, "They grabbed him (Beaty) and threw him to the ground. I just saw him being brutally beaten because he didn't want to listen to them."
The tape shows Beaty lying face down on the ground being hit at least 6 times in the face.
It appears 2 of the blows came after Beaty was partially or fully restrained with his hands behind his back.
The footage was shown to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, who immediately launched an internal investigation.
Dyer said what could be most important to the investigation is the 8 or so minutes prior to the recording.
Dyer said, "The individual was stiff. There was alcohol around him. It was very apparent that he had been drinking excessively and when the officers contacted the individual there was resistance in terms of the line of questioning. The individual refused to answer certain questions and at some point there was an altercation that occurred between the suspect and the officers. At one point, the officers, one of the officers was punched by the suspect in the arm. The officer had his badge ripped off of his shirt. "
Chief Dyer's account of the incident is based on the police report written by the two officers in question.
The person recording the footage admitted to not being on the scene when the officers first approached Beaty, but challenged Dyer's chain of events.
He said, "Before the camera went on I saw him (Beaty), he had already pulled his body away from the tree a little bit and started trying to keep them from grabbing his arms and when they did get a hold of his arms, they spun him around and put him on the ground and started socking him."
Even though an ambulance was called and used to transport Beaty to the hospital, officers on scene did not gather any witness statements.
But, Chief Dyer said the Fresno Police Sergeant heading the investigation of his fellow officers' conduct will be reaching out to anyone who witnessed this incident.
"What is important to us though is to allow all of the evidence to be brought into this case, any witness statements, all the actions that led up to the video being taken before an official opinion is formed."
Click on the link to see Carolyn Bruck's full report.
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