Man in videotaped police beating alleges retaliation by LAPD officers

Clinton Alford Jr. says he was beaten and kicked by LAPD officers during a stop.
Clinton Alford Jr. says he was beaten and kicked by LAPD officers during a stop.
(Caree Harper)

A man who sued the LAPD alleging that he’d been held down and beaten by police last fall made new accusations on Tuesday, saying officers have been harassing him and his family in retaliation.

Flanked by his father and his attorney, Clinton Alford Jr. told reporters that officers have repeatedly driven past his South L.A. house. And helicopters have flown so close overhead that walls and windows shook.

The 22-year-old’s attorney, Caree Harper, said officers had “heckled” Alford and his family while driving past their home. Last week, she said, officers drew their guns on her client after stopping him for a traffic violation.

Harper said she planned to amend a federal civil rights lawsuit she filed on Alford’s behalf to include the allegations of retaliation by police.


“They want to catch him doing anything,” she said. “Even if he’s not doing anything.”

Cmdr. Andrew Smith, an LAPD spokesman, declined to discuss the Oct. 16 incident, citing an ongoing internal investigation and civil litigation.

“There’s already an internal affairs investigation into this matter,” he said. “If they have any other allegations of misconduct, we’re eager to hear them and have internal affairs investigate them fully.”

In an earlier interview with The Times, Alford said he was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk along Avalon Boulevard near 55th Street that October afternoon when a car pulled up. A man shouted a command to stop, but Alford said he continued pedaling because the man hadn’t identified himself as a police officer.

When someone grabbed the back of the bike, Alford said he jumped off and ran.

After a short foot pursuit, two officers caught up to Alford, he said. Another officer arrived and began beating the 22-year-old, who said he was lying on the ground handcuffed.

The altercation was captured by a private company’s security camera. Several police officials who have seen video told The Times earlier that one officer delivered a powerful kick to Alford’s head. One official said the officer resembled “a football player kicking a field goal.” Another described it as “horrific.”

The officials said that Alford had surrendered and was not resisting the officers.

After the incident, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement that he was “extremely concerned about this particular use of force.” Prosecutors later declined to file charges against the 22-year-old.

In a federal lawsuit filed in November, Alford alleged he was Tased, “then beaten and repeatedly kicked.” He was kicked so hard, the lawsuit alleges, that he was knocked unconscious.

Alford said Tuesday that he was grateful the encounter had been caught on tape but said he had not seen the footage.

“I didn’t know what happened to me,” he said. “I just want answers.”

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