Three California cops were caught on camera in a one minute video (seen below) giving a 16-year old a devastating beating, cracking his legs with a baton and threatening the young man with a taser. Three Pomona Police officers beat teenager Christian Aguilar into submission at the Los Angeles County Fair when he recorded them arresting his family. Now the teenager and his family are suing six named cops and the Pomona Police Department, and the City of Pomona and Los Angeles County for heinous violation of his civil rights.
His only crime: recording the police.
Pomona Police officers arrested Robert Hansen, the man who recorded them beating the teenager. They illegally seized and searched Hanson’s phone and then charged him with bogus offenses. California cops then tried to cover their tracks, and maliciously prosecuted everyone involved. All charges were eventually dropped against the teen, and his family. After all of that hard work, the Pomona Police edited Robert Hanson’s video of the arrest of Christian Aguilar and gave the video to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
All of the officers lied in their official reports. They only charged Aguilar with resisting arrest, which itself isn’t a crime if there is no criminal accusation against a person, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department kept him housed in the adult population despite his protestation of juvenile status. The officers had just arrested his father Ignacio Aguilar Jr. and cousin, accusing them of public intoxication and Christian Ignacio decided to record the officers from 30 feet away. Aguilar’s brother Ignacio Aguilar IV was also physically detained by the police for yelling as his family’s civil rights were violated one at a time. Luckily, another citizen – Robert Hanson, the “neutral third party” – whipped out their cellphone and recorded the entire shocking police brutality incident started by Pomona Officer Jensen.
As is clear in the video, Aguilar didn’t ever challenge the first officer on the scene’s use of inappropriate force, when Officer Jensen smashed his head into a fence – instead putting his hands at his sides and thrusting his chin forward in a posture of frustrated readiness. Officer Jensen thrust his forearm into Aguilar’s face twice at maximum thrust, before Pomona Officers Hutchinson and Correa arrived. Hutchinson thoughtfully held the teenager along with Jensen, and that’s when Pomona Officer landed a devastating blow, with his long black baton to Christian Aguilar’s knee, sending the teenager to the ground. As the three grown men beat the teenager, another Pomona Officer came over an discharged his taser near the teen to strike terror. There’s no other reason to deploy a weapon in that manner.
Eventually, at least seven cops responded to the call. Five of them hovered over the beaten Aguilar, as two kept a perimeter. The video ends as a police officer asks Hanson for his name in a familiar scene, where police seek to claim that photography is somehow a crime enabling them to illegally demand identification. Photography is not a crime, it’s a First Amendment protected right. Now the taxpayers of Pomona will be forced to cough up big bucks, and we still haven’t seen a single officer named below in this lawsuit charged with any crime for beating a teenager, and arresting him for recording the police.
But a federal court will settle the matter, and maybe, just maybe the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office will think twice about any evidence put forth by the rotten barrel California residents call the Pomona Police Department. Because the Pomona police department crossed the line, from law enforcement to thugs.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition.