An unarmed man who was punched repeatedly by Mesa, Arizona, police on bodycam footage said officers laughed after they brutalized him so badly that he required hospital treatment.
Jose Luis Conde, 23, on Thursday described how cops assaulted him after a car in which he was a passenger was pulled over on Jan. 28.
“I was tased, I was punched over and over by multiple cops. I was gouged in the eye. And I was hit in the head with a massive police flashlight,” Conde said at a news conference. “After all of this they laughed. They laughed at me as I laid on a pool of my own blood, barely conscious.”
Conde spoke after his lawyer, Bret Royle provided police bodycam footage of the arrest to The Arizona Republic.
The video shows an officer repeatedly punch Conde outside the vehicle, after someone says “fuck you.” After Conde is hit with several blows, someone tells him to “eat shit.”
Later, as cops restrain Conde, he screams, “I can’t breathe.” An officer tells him to “quit fighting.”
A second bodycam video appears to be taken at a hospital, showing Conde, lying bloodied on the floor surrounded by a group of cops. “You got to be a man, man,” says one. “Man up.” A police report said Conde tried to escape during his hospital treatment.
The Mesa Police Department said it’s reviewing the incident and complained about the release of the bodycam footage.
“The tape released yesterday by media outlets does not tell the full story concerning this arrest,” the department said in a statement posted to Facebook. “There is a process for transparency that requires full disclosure which is not always achievable by the media.”
The car in which Conde was a passenger was stopped for driving without headlights, police said previously. Conde, they said, had cocaine in his sock. He faces a trial scheduled for next month on charges of narcotics possession, one count of escape, two counts of resisting arrest and a count of aggravated assault on police.
Mesa police in recent days have been involved in at least two other incidents involving brutality claims. Four officers were placed on administrative leave last week after surveillance video was released showing them punching and kicking another unarmed man. Days earlier, officers apparently caused a 15-year-old boy they arrested to scream in pain.