L.A. Deputy Stomps on Suspect's Head, Prompting Investigation

Crime, Law and JusticeTelemundo (tv network)Los Angeles Police DepartmentRodney King

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was caught on tape stomping on the head of a sexual battery suspect last Friday.

Suspected of groping a woman's chest, Alexis Husmario Torres was uncooperative with authorities when they approached him in downtown Los Angeles, the L.A. Times reported.

The deputies then took him down, elbowing him in the head and stomping him in the head at least one time, according to video footage filmed by Telemundo and aired by NBC Los Angeles.

The Sheriff's Department has launched a criminal investigation into the matter.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said a 24-year veteran deputy has been relieved of duty, the Times reported.

The suspect as well as two deputies suffered minor injuries from the incident.

Law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles have emphasized in recent months that they have undergone reforms in use of force, noting that police have better relationships with the community and that tensions have eased in dangerous areas.

LAPD chief Charlie Beck noted these changes in statements he made around the time of the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King beating, saying that law enforcement in the city had greatly improved since 1992.

Still, some residents say authorities still overuse their force, and point to incidents such as the alleged actions against Torres and the case of a man named Marco Chiclana.

Chiclana was beaten last April by deputies and released a video of the incident to KTLA in December, saying the beating was unnecessary.

In the video, deputies arrive and shake Marco Chiclana's hand, but then a fight ensues. One deputy punches Chiclana repeatedly in the face before other deputies swarm him and take him down.

Chiclana's attorney, Brad Gage said the beating was unprovoked.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Crime, Law and JusticeTelemundo (tv network)Los Angeles Police DepartmentRodney King