Hayward Police ‘Use Of Force Incident’ Prompts Internal Investigation – CBS San Francisco

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HAYWARD (KPIX) — New video shows what Hayward Police are calling a “use of force incident.” A witness captured cell phone video at a shopping center parking lot on Santa Clara Street near Jackson Street, in Hayward on Easter Sunday.

The minute-long video begins with officers with their guns drawn, standing behind the driver’s side door of a police vehicle. You can hear a less lethal shot go off at the beginning of the video. The officers shout several commands like “do not move.” The suspect says “I’m going to sue you,” several times. At one point, one officer kicks the suspect, another punches him. You can hear them ask him to get his hands out while they try to arrest him.

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“It was out of line. They beat the [expletive] out of him,” said witness Chris Phillips. “He sounded like he was in pain.”

Hayward Police said the suspect, 35-year-old Keith Swain, was arrested.

He is facing the following charges: felon in possession of firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, altering/replacing identifying marks on a firearm and resisting a peace officer.

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Officers also recovered a firearm.

KPIX 5 showed this video to a retired San Jose Police sergeant, who says that although seeing kicks and punches may be shocking, it isn’t necessarily excessive. He did commend the officers for holding down the suspect’s arms.

“Even those punches, which I didn’t think were excessively brutal or devastating, I think even that could have been avoided had these officers known really good submission techniques and arrest control techniques,” said Frederick Kotto. “But again, hearts are pounding, people are nervous and scared, and a situation like that, someone could die.”

A statement from the Hayward Police Department Tuesday reads:

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“We are aware that cell phone video footage was recently posted to a social media site, which depicts a use of force incident involving Hayward Police Officers. The circumstances surrounding this incident are currently under review by the Hayward Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit. The Hayward Police Department takes all use of force incidents seriously and conducts thorough use of force investigations, which typically require investigators to interview multiple witnesses, view numerous hours of video footage, and analyze a significant amount of evidence. We do not draw conclusions about whether the officers acted consistent with department policies and the law until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete. We recognize the community entrusts us with the legal authority to carry out our duties and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We remain committed to transparency. When warranted after the investigative process, officers are held accountable within the boundaries of the law.”

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