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LAPD to investigate Hollywood stun gun incident

June 28, 2010 |  4:03 pm

Los Angeles police are investigating an incident in which an apparently intoxicated man suffered a head injury when he fell to the curb after being hit with a stun gun by Hollywood Division officers.

The investigation grew out of a three-minute video posted on YouTube showing a man refusing to comply with the orders of at least two LAPD officers, shouting obscenities and threatening them. A woman's voice can be heard saying that police were responding to "a fight."

The incident occurred Sunday when officers responded to a call at a bar at the Hollywood and Highland complex concerning drunk men. Before they could get to the scene, they encountered a man who was shouting racial epithets at several African Americans.

Department officials said officers told him to leave the area, but officials said the man refused and threatened to "cut the throats of the officers" while clenching his fists and displaying aggressive behavior toward them.

According to department officials, 0fficer Chris Craig, a seven-year LAPD veteran, brandished a Taser and, when the man refused to obey orders, fired it, hitting the man in the upper body.

Officer Peter Kim, with four years on the force, appeared to move toward the man to strike him in the back, officials said.

In the video the man appears to fall to the ground, his head hitting the curb. Department officials said officers immediately called for Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics to treat the man, who was taken to a hospital. He was in serious but stable condition.

Police union President Paul M. Weber said the video footage showed a side of policing that most people do not see.

"Obviously, the officers were dealing with a very volatile person," Weber said. "The officers acted reasonably and in compliance with department training. As former LAPD Chief William Bratton observed, 'Police work is not pretty.' "

LAPD officials said they have launched an investigation.

If anyone has information, they are asked to call the use of force review division at (213) 486-5980. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

-- Andrew Blankstein