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LAPD Officer Charged With Battery After Beating Of Suspect Caught On Video

(Photo by Evlakhov Valeriy via Shutterstock)
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An LAPD officer has been charged with battery for a violent arrest occurring last fall in South L.A.LAPD Officer Richard Garcia, 34, has been charged with one count of Battery Under Color of Authority, according to a release from the L.A. District Attorney's Office. Garcia pleaded not guilty this afternoon, and faces three years in County Jail if convicted, the L.A. Times reports.

The charge stems from the arrest of 22-year-old Clinton Alford, Jr. Alford was riding his bike on Avalon Blvd. near 55th St. in South L.A. on October 16, 2014 just after noon when two officers attempted to stop him because he matched the description of a robbery suspect, according to City News Service. Alford said that because they were behind him, he did not realize they were police officers and so kept riding. He then fled on foot when officers grabbed onto his bike. When the two officers caught up to Alford, he got down on the ground and put his hands behind his back.

Surveillance footage from a nearby building caught the arrest on video. According to officials who have seen the footage, Garcia arrived in a second car and began beating Alford, even though he was already restrained. One LAPD official who reviewed the footage, which has not been released to the public, said that the way Garcia kicked Alford in the head was like "a football player kicking a field goal." Another source told the Times that it wasn't Alford's head but his shoulder that Garcia kicked.

Alford was booked on suspicion of drug possession and resisting arrest, but prosecutors later decided to drop the charges. Garcia has been on administrative leave since the incident.

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Garcia's bail today was set at $35,000 and he will appear in court again on June 1. Alford has filed a claim against the City and said he has been harassed by police since filing.