Cellphone video captures part of a Long Beach police incident which appears to show officers using a baton multiple times on a suspect who was already on the ground.
But Long Beach police say the video shows only a small part of the overall incident. They say the suspect was a parolee who tried to carjack several vehicles in the area, including a parking enforcement vehicle, and then struggled as officers tried to place him under arrest.
The video was filmed on Feb. 15 in the area of 4th Street and Atlantic Avenue around 3:15 p.m.
The person who filmed the video captured about 15 seconds of footage of what appears to be one officer on top of the suspect on the ground while a second officer strikes him repeatedly in the lower legs with a baton.
A Long Beach police statement says the incident began with a man attempting several carjackings in the area.
When he tried to carjack a city parking enforcement vehicle, the parking officer radioed for help even as a good Samaritan tried to detain the suspect, who struggled with him.
The police statement says when officers arrived they tried to arrest the man and had him on the ground as they tried to handcuff him, but say he began to thrash and resist.
"An additional officer utilized baton strikes to gain his compliance at which point officers were able to successfully take the subject into custody," the police statement said.
The suspect was identified as 24-year-old Eugene Martindale III. He was booked for attempted carjacking, obstructing/resisting police and violation of parole. He was booked into Los Angeles County jail and was being held without bail.
"The video appears to depict only a small portion of the incident, and unfortunately does not capture the events leading up to the use of force or the good samaritan assisting the officers," the police statement said.
The use-of-force incident is under review by the department.