Elk Grove, California police officer Bryan Schmidt has been fired for using “excessive force” on a suspect last June while responding to a 911 call.
The Sacramento-area’s police department released camera footage of the officer kicking robbery suspect — identified as Juan Mendoza— in the head while he was complying with the officer’s orders at gunpoint to lay down on the ground and show his hands.
“It’s an excessive force, a force that is unreasonable,” Chief Timothy Albright of Elk Grove police said, ABC News reported.
“We have to evaluate what was the level of resistance that called for the level of force, and in this case, those didn’t balance,” Albright said, noting that the kick was not within department policy.
On June 5, 2019 at 8:43 p.m., Elk Grove officer were reportedly called to an alleged robbery and assault in progress at a Burlington Coat Factory.
Mendoza, 23, was ultimately arrested for robbery, conspiracy, resisting arrest and violation of probation.
His attorney Mark Merin said he was hospitalized after the incident with a life-threatening brain injury.
“The guy was defenseless on the ground, to come and just bang him in the head with a boot? I mean that’s just absolutely unjustified,” the lawyer said.
The city settled out of court with Mendoza, paying him $100,000.
On Thursday, the department posted a 15-minute “critical incident video” of the incident— culled from in-car camera and body-worn camera systems that were activated— on its YouTube page.
Albright narrated the clip.
Employed with the department for four years, Schmidt was fired and his unidentified supervisor resigned after he faced discipline for not reporting the brutality.
“The supervising officer failed to identify the use of force, failed to report the use of force and failed to complete an investigation in accordance with policy,” Albright said in the video posted Thursday. “This failure not only did not allow a thorough review of the force, but exposed this city to unnecessary liability.”
Albright says he won’t tolerate that type of behavior in his department.
Well, not anymore.
“That’s not who we are, that’s not who we desire to be. And I think we demonstrate who we are through what we’ve done,” he said.
The news outlet reported that an outside agency is investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against the disgraced officer.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Schmidt is appealing his termination.