A Santa Monica college student is suing the Los Angeles Police Department for use of excessive force, alleging that officers beat and tased him despite the fact that he was unarmed and not resisting arrest.
Aibuidefe Oghogho, who was 23 years old at the time, claims that a 2010 arrest outside a Hollywood nightclub over public consumption of alcohol escalated into a multiple-officer beatdown, reports CBS2.
Security footage of the night in question, Oct. 22, shows that Oghogho was holding a beer bottle wrapped in a paper bag. He and his friend were crossing the street when an unmarked police car slowed to approach him.
According to Oghogho, a police officer asked him what he was holding and then pushed him. Oghogho admits to CBS2 that he put a hand on the officer's chest to say, "stop."
That's when things got violent. The video shows two police officers on top of Oghogho, using their fists and a baton to deliver multiple blows to his face and body. As the beating continues, more police officers arrive on the scene and surround Oghogho, watching as he is repeatedly slammed against a fence and the ground.
"The whole time they're doing it, I hear one officer keep punching me in my face," recalled Oghogho. "He's telling me, 'stop resisting arrest, stop resisting arrest, stop resisting arrest.' And all I can say to myself is, 'I'm not resisting.' "
The confrontation ended when an officer tased Oghogho.
Oghogho's blood alcohol level, measured immediately after the incident, was just .04, said his attorney John Burton, and Oghogho doesn't have a criminal history. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration in California is .08.
The LA city prosecutor declined to charge Oghogho with a misdemeanor after seeing the video, said Burton to The Huffington Post. When asked what took Oghogho two years to come forward with his story, Burton explained it took about a year and a half for his case to make its way through the city attorney's office.
The LAPD has been under scrutiny this year over of a rash of videos that depict the violent arrests of two unarmed women and another college student. Squad car camera footage from July 22 shows officers beating single mother Alesia Thomas while arresting her for child endangerment. She died in the squad car that day.
Cellphone footage captured the violent arrest of college student Ronald Weekley Jr. on Aug. 18, who had been stopped for riding his skateboard on the wrong side of the road. Weekley's family hired the same civil rights lawyer who represents the family of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin to explore legal action against the police department.
Finally, security footage from Aug. 21 showed officers fist-bumping in celebration of the brutal arrest of Michelle Jordan, a registered nurse who had been pulled over for talking on her phone while driving. Police chief Charlie Beck responded by demoting Capt. Joseph Hitner, the commanding officer over the two policement that arrested Jordan.
In an unrelated case, the police department was ordered to give $3.2 million last week to Valerie Allen, a woman with bipolar disorder, for their "malicious" and excessive use of a stun gun on her, reports the Los Angeles Times.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Oghogho's name. We regret the error.
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