A New Mexico police officer is under investigation after he slammed a handcuffed motorist to the ground during a traffic stop, reported the Clovis News Journal.
A video posted Monday on YouTube shows Officer Brent Aguilar approach a pickup driven by 26-year-old Jorge Corona during the Aug. 3 incident.
Corona repeatedly asks the Clovis police officer why he has been stopped, but Aguilar declines to say but repeatedly demands the driver’s identification.
The officer eventually asks Corona to step out of the vehicle, and Aguilar places him in handcuffs after he exits the pickup.
Aguilar then leads Corona to his patrol car, where a dashboard camera is recording the stop, and suddenly slams the handcuffed man to the ground just at the edge of the camera frame.
Corona suffered a broken cheekbone and other injuries after the officer threw him to the ground, face first.
“Turning your head and asking a police officer questions while handcuffed behind your back is not justification for having your face slammed into the pavement,” said attorney Dan Lindsey. “That’s bully, illegal conduct.”
The attorney said Aguilar had no right to take Corona into custody for questioning.
“He has to tell you first that he has reasonable suspicion to believe you are violating the law or committing a criminal act,” Lindsey said. “All Mr. Corona was doing was asking why when Officer Aguilar asked him to show his ID.”
Corona was charged with concealing his identity and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.
After the video was posted this week, police placed Aguilar on limited duty while an internal affairs investigation was conducted.
The department issued a statement saying the matter was investigated by Aguilar’s supervisors in August, but so far Corona had not yet filed a complaint.
Corona asked for a jury trial Tuesday during a court hearing, and his attorney said they had been too busy to filed a formal complaint or civil lawsuit.
“Right now we’re having to deal with these false charges,” Lindsey said.
Watch video from the incident posted online by Clovis Police Watch: