Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

El Monte officer kicks suspect in the head after he surrenders [Updated]

Chase TV news footage shows an El Monte police officer kicking a car chase suspect in the head after the suspect appears to surrender.

Video from Fox 11 News showed the incident at the end of a car chase that wound through the San Gabriel Valley earlier this afternoon, ending in a collision in Pico Rivera. The suspect jumped out of his car and ran. He eventually stopped and dropped to the ground on his stomach, with his hands flat to the ground and above his head. The officer ran up to him and kicked him on the side of the head.

Lt. Chuck Carlson of the El Monte Police Department said his officers made the arrest, and the internal affairs department is investigating the incident.

Carlson said internal affairs will review video of the incident and also take statements from officers.

The suspect is a 20-year-old man who was on parole. He was taken to Greater El Monte Hospital. But it's unclear whether his injuries were sustained by an earlier car crash or from the blow to the head.

The officer appears to high-five another officer after the suspect is cuffed.

[Updated: 4:50 p.m.: Carlson identified the suspect as Richard Rodriguez, 23, of El Monte. He said Rodriguez is a member of the El Monte Flores street gang and had been released from state prison in January. He was wanted for a parole violation, but it's unclear if that led to the chase. Check out video from KNBC 4 below.]

--Ari B. Bloomekatz and Andrew Blankstein

Image: KNBC 4 News

Comments () | Archives (132)

Sadly this type of activity and mental makeup comes all too often from those given positions of trust and responsibility in our Police forces throughout the nation as a whole. It has even been clearly established that similar abuses come from those in our military.
The point is NOT that the suspect may deserve worse or less but that those given such trust have the lack of mental and moral makeup in themselves as 'people' and especially as they have been 'trained' to react properly in such situations...
It is all too true that humans from ancient times into the time of Hitler and even today all around us are those who have a lack of self-dignity, moral, and responsibility to to what is right and that which elevayes us above all other creatures.
I know from observation and other means that there are many a police agency in Southern California with officers and deputies that perform admirably and with pride not only in the eyes of the community but of their own consciences also, but there are also a great number of same who will abuse their authority in so many ways not even seen by others aside from those victims and themselves...These range fromoffivers/deputies on the streets to correctional officers in the jails and prisons.
The saddest thing is not only the 'victims side in thes but even more so the shame and depravity of those committing such abuses. Truely those are no better or different IN FACT than the men and women who committed similar atrocities and abuses in the camps of Hitlers Germany in WW2. The only thing lacking for such to be done again is the opportunity and situation as we have the people all around us all the time who would be so debased as to repeat...The evidence is here in this case and seen often, though remains unseen even more often.

I didn't see a guy getting kicked in the head. I saw a cop trying to knock a suspect's hat off his head so he could see his face and identify him.

We're seeing footage from a chopper from several hundred feet up. Not sure how any real decision can be made to what anyone saw.

Honestly, the cops could've shot them in the head as soon as they got a clear area on the highway.

I reaalllly reaaalllly hope this officer is punished for his actions. What he did is completely unacceptable and consequences need to follow. Now if this suspect was fighting back and not surrendering maybe a kick was necessary to bring him down but he was clearly surrendered for a solid 4 seconds on the ground. I was waiting in a dentist waiting room when i saw this take place and i was so shocked at what i saw and the reporter was just as shocked and didn't even know what to say. I'm sick of law 'enforcement' officers doing whatever they want whenever they want there is a complete unbalance of power here and that is completely unconstitutional!

So sad.
It could have been a good ending to a bad situation.
But, an overzealous police officer runs the risk of causing major brain damage to a future ward of the state. Think of the money we are going to waste on the settlement and the housing of this piece of work (cop & criminal both).
There was no need for that sort of escalation.
Not a good day all around.

Cops are given special training in arrogance, intimidation, and abuse. Just imagine how much of this they got away with before there were a lot video cameras to catch a few of them. In those days they all got away with it because their word was always credible compared to the poor guy that was abused.

I'm glad he kicked him... the only thing these dummies understand is brutality.

DISGRACEFUL!!!! I have been involved in Law enforcement for over twenty years and I am appalled!!! This violates everything I have ever been taught or learned. Then after the perp tries to cover his face in defense the next officer comes in and starts wailing on him with a billy club. Then to see the four of them celebrate after the arrest has made me sick to my stomach. I would like to take the El Monte Officer out behind a dumpster somewhere and place a bag over his face and nail him across the face with a 2X4. Guilty or not this gentleman still has rights which are protected by the United States Constitution. I refuse to even visit California for this very reason, incompitant law enforcement who make up their own rules as they go through life.

GM owner, the cops are not above the law as they think. The Tax payers will foot the bill for him being Stupid. It is not the first time he has done this, but it is the first time on the news with film. The police will say it is with in department guide Lines and that is always their lie.

GM owner, you need to get kicked in the head to see how it feels. Two wrongs have never made a Right.

I applaud the actions from the officer. Great job.

it makes you leery of police. kinda like how the muslims felt after the release of the abu graib, or something like that, photos. i know they deserve it, but should the authorities do it just because they like to? how cowardice for that police officer. if i were a criminal, i don't know... should i surrender now? or should i continue running? one officer kicked him. another officer was beating him while trying to handcuff him. wtf? is that the training we do for police? scary!

This sort of police brutality is common, but rarely reported -and even less frequently video taped. When a person is killed/murdered by the police during an arrest, the DA ALWAYS determines it to be justified within 24 hours. Other crimes by police - and prosecutors - are not charged or reported because they enforce the laws and there is a code of "You take care of me and I'll take care of you". Judges also seem to be lienient toward criminal prosecutors and rogue cops. Prosecutors and cops lie, deceive and intimidate as part of their culture. Remember this the next time you are on jury duty
GOOD JOB to the news reporters.

This is disgraceful.
If the police that broke the law like these individuals went sent to jail and forced to pay the lawsuits out of their own pockets, not ours, this would not happen.
I have a lot of friends who are good cops and it is sad that people like this ruin the names of the police.
It is absolutely brazen to do this in broad daylight when there is a helicopter overhead recording.
To the non-intelligent ones that are defending this officer, he would not hesitate to arrest you if you assaulted another individual in the same manner and your adrenaline excuse would not fly with him either.

I agree he shouldn't have kicked; always go for two at home!

Yes, this was a case of excessive force. Cop should be disciplined. Even if the cop was amped up on adrenaline he is supposed to be a professional, that is what he is being paid to do. A kick to the head is serious stuff. This kind of crap leads to such mistrust of cops that juries don't believe the police and leads to acquittals of guilty like OJ. No one is above the law, including cops and former Presidents and Vice-Presidents.

This cop is going to lose his job. What kind of person kicks someone when they are down and have already clearly given up. This cop should resign by the end of the week. I also believe the second cop who did the side blows will also get can. This is clearly a violation of his civil rights no matter what the circumstance is on the ground. Millions of people have watched this video already and the actions were not required.

If ever there is a breakdown in L.A. government the type of street justice mentality written about here will destroy what's left of society. No laws, no constitution, just the same type of thugs that kill purported witches in Africa because they think their penis shrunk.

The USA is based on laws... Our forefathers fought for that, I fought for that and our children in uniform are fighting for that.

Whether or not the suspect "deserved" to be kicked is not the point. Based on the description of his actions during the chase he belongs in prison. BUT, the (theoretical) difference between the good guys and the bad guys is that the good guys are supposed to follow the rules.

For those of you that are advocating this type of police behavior, I hope you'll be singing the same tune if it was your own son or nephew. The kick in the head was completely unacceptable. And both Sheriff Baca and Bratton argue those only a few bad cops in the bunch, huh? Give me a break.

Agree 100% with CX comment. Police rule the people. Even judges favor them becuase they protect them in court rooms. This policeman has no right to kick in his head. Luckily there was video otherwise so many police abuse of power goes unreported. Who questions their power. Hardly they get prosecuted

It's a shame that the cop is portrayed as the criminal, while the real criminal had absolutley no concern about all the lives he endangerd while speeding on the wrong side of the road and then crashing into some innocent victims car. Fortunately he will be put away but unfortunely we will be seeing more so called "newsworthy stories" about the overexagerated police brutality. The author of this article should consider going back to school and learn how to write fair and imparital stories that can still draw in readers.

JustJoe wrote: "The USA is based on laws... Our forefathers fought for that, I fought for that and our children in uniform are fighting for that."

The USA is based on laws? Oh, yeah? Whatever gave you that idea? We have millions of illegal aliens living here and no one seems to care. We have tax dodgers running the IRS. We have a President who is mostly likely not a native born American and never registered with the Selective Service.

Based on laws ... I think not.


I hope this cop not only gets fired (I hope even arrested), but sued as well (and his department) for police brutality. He and his buddies cannot lie themselves out of this one. If he does get fired, I know Maywood likes to hire corrupted cops for a second, third, fourth chance.

This is outrages I have posted my comments 3 times and you refuse to air the they are nowhere close to as pronounced as your other blogers shame on you!

I'm amazed that there is any debate here--let alone this much. If anyone discussing this saw the overhead shot from the helicopter, it was clear that there was absolutely no threat to the officer whatsoever. What the officers did was absolutely inexcusable and brings them BELOW the level of the man on the ground since they are supposed to be the measure of law and order rather than the opposite. For the El Monte chief to be so evasive about their actions adds insult to (literal) injury.

Same brutality, same LAPD. Nothing has changed. Can't wait to hear the lies they will spin to excuse this act of brutality.

« | 1 2 3 4 5 6 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: