An internal investigation within the Barstow Police Department is underway. The news comes after one of their officers assaulted an unarmed Black man.
Yesterday (April 30), Fox 11 reported the department was looking into the incident after camera footage became available online. On Friday (April 28), a California officer reportedly noticed 43-year-old Gary Christian, who authorities said had an open felony warrant for a probation violation. When approached on Main Street, Christian supposedly assaulted the cop twice, the outlet shared.
“Christian refused to comply with an officer’s orders and physically assaulted the [cop]. The officer immediately deployed his taser, which was ineffective,” authorities told the outlet. “Christian then physically assaulted the officer a second time, causing the [policeman] to deploy his baton; the officer struck Christian with his baton while attempting to arrest him.”
However, Melissa Navarrete, a woman who recorded the incident, said otherwise about Christian’s police encounter. According to the report, Navarrete was sitting in a restaurant with a friend when they saw the officer attack the 43-year-old through the window.
“We’d see in the middle of the street a cop with a baton holding it like a bat swinging at this guy. The guy had his hands up, and he’s moving backward like he’s not trying to fight the [officer],” she said. “He’s not trying to resist anything… he’s just moving, and the cop is just swinging and swinging.”
In the footage, the policeman hit Christian in the leg, as corroborated by Navarrete. Then, a few more times while on the ground. The woman also added that she never saw the cop use a taser, and Christian did not resist arrest. After the incident, Christian was taken and treated at a local hospital for injuries to his right leg, the outlet noted. Police later booked him at the detention center in Adelanto for resisting arrest and his outstanding warrant.
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