Disturbing surveillance video showing a California correctional officer hitting a handcuffed detainee was recently released by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.
According to the sheriff’s office, the footage was taken last August in the San Joaquin county jail after a suspect was arrested for public intoxication.
In the video, he’s seen sitting on the floor, handcuffed, wearing a so-called “spit hood” after he allegedly attempted to spit on those officers.
“What happens next is one of our correctional officers enters the holding area and then, inexplicably, strikes the man in the head,” the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
They added that the detainee apparently posed no threat.
The two officers who witnessed the incident immediately reported it to their supervisors.
“Before an officer can touch or physically harm anyone, there must be this legal necessity or lawful necessity for the officer to do that,” Criminal Defense Attorney Johnny Griffin told NBC News.
Correctional Officer Matthew Mettler was placed on administrative leave and later charged by the district attorney’s office with a misdemeanor for assault by a public officer.
“As Sheriff, I don’t condone the actions as portrayed on this video by our jail staff,” said Sheriff Steve Moore.
“It is inconsistent with the professionalism of San Joaquin County Correctional Officers, and of this department. The action taken by the DA’s office is appropriate and we support their position.”