WATCH: Cops pummel man in traffic stop in video that contradicts official story
Recently released dashboard camera video appears to contradict police claims about the beating of an uncooperative suspect earlier this year in a Tennessee traffic stop.
Police said they stopped a suspected drunk driver April 13 in Red Bank.
That driver, who was identified in a police report only as Mr. Roque, was arrested without incident after failing a field sobriety test, reported WDEF-TV.
Officers said in their report that a passenger, identified as Candido Medina-Resendiz, attempted several times to get out of the vehicle after police ordered him to stay inside.
But he eventually exited the car, and reserve officers Tim Brown and Scott Miller attempted to take him into custody.
The report shows Medina-Resendiz resisted by pushing and pulling away, and police said the suspect struck his face on the pavement when Miller took him to the ground.
Another officer used a stun gun on Medina-Resendiz – who is an illegal immigrant – in an attempt to subdue him, the report shows.
Medina-Resendiz continued to struggle with the officer as he attempted to place him in handcuffs, and Officer Mark Kaylor said he struck the man in the face after he attempted to bite him.
Police eventually got handcuffs onto Medina-Resendiz and carried the still-struggling suspect to a patrol car and used the stun gun again.
But dashboard camera video released last month contradicts what officers wrote in their report.
Medina-Resindez is pulled from the car and thrown to the ground, where the back of his head strikes the pavement.
Kaylor asked the suspect if he spoke English, and Medina-Resendiz said he spoke very little.
But none of the officers requested a Spanish-speaking officer, and all three continued to bark orders at Medina-Resendiz in English.
“It’s very apparent from viewing the video that Mr. Medina-Resendiz was extremely confused about what on Earth was happening to him,” said attorney Kyle Mothershead. “The reason why he was being taken down was not explained to him in either English or Spanish, and he’s confused about what’s happening and why he’s being thrown to the ground.”
An officer grabs Medina- Resendiz by the neck and threatens to “f*cking kick (his) ass” while standing over the suspect, the video shows.
Kaylor holds the man’s head on the ground as another officer suggests they “shock this mother*cker,” and a stun gun can be heard as Medina-Resendiz screams in pain.
The video shows Kaylor bringing the suspect’s hands behind his back, and the officer then pounds on Medina-Resendiz seven times with his closed fist — which an attorney said caused an orbital fracture to his skull.
“We hope that people who see this video understand that a use of force like this is so far outside what is considered to be normal police work,” said attorney Andrew Free. “That threatens all of us; the fact that an officer is able to use this force and then after an internal investigation, go back on the job makes us all less safe.”
All the officers were cleared in July by an internal affairs investigation.
“They not only exonerated Kaylor, they even commended him for the admirable restraint that he showed in their eyes,” Mothershead said.
Kaylor testified during a preliminary hearing that he did not have video from his own patrol car’s dashboard camera, the station reported.
A previous attorney for Medina-Resendiz has subpoenaed the video and asked the officer why he didn’t pass the request on to a superior officer.
“Because it was directed to me,” Kaylor told the attorney.
Kaylor told prosecutors at the preliminary hearing that he hit Medina-Resendiz because the suspect was trying to bite him, but the video shows the man was face down when the officer pummeled the back of his head.
“The actual blows to the head by Mr. Kaylor are not the result of a failure in communication,” Free said. “Those were the result of a conscience choice by this officer to apply this potentially deadly force to our client’s head. No communication would have justified his decision to do that.”
Medina-Resendiz required surgery to repair his injuries, and a metal plate was inserted into his damaged eye socket.
Police indicated in their report three previous times they had been called to domestic disorders involving Medina-Resendiz, although his attorneys said they did not know his name until after he was taken into custody.
“Whether you’re a guest, citizen or undocumented migrant, there are constitutional limitations on what government agents can do to people within the borders of the United States,” Mothershead said. “This was not appropriate.”
Watch video from the traffic stop posted online by wdef: