La Mesa

Protest at La Mesa PD Over Viral Arrest Video

The video, shared across Instagram Wednesday night, shows the tense moments during the arrest of a black man near a trolley stop in La Mesa

Protests in La Mesa over a rough arrest that went viral.

Protesters gathered Friday at the La Mesa Police Department in response to a controversial arrest involving a black man and a white officer near a trolley stop.

A crowd first formed across the street from the station with about 20 to 30 people holding signs. about 45 minutes later, the group split in two and marched down the sidewalks of city streets.

The video, which is under review by the department, was posted to Instagram Wednesday night by a user named @lemthurdy with a caption that read, in part, “Police brutality in San Diego.” In less than 24 hours, the clip had amassed nearly 615,000 views.

NBC 7 has not independently verified the video. NBC 7 does not know what happened in the moments before the arrest, nor what the man in the video was arrested for.

An LMPD officer seen in a controversial video arresting of a black man has been placed on leave.

LMPD announced Thursday it had placed the involved officer on administrative leave, and the City Manager said it was launching a special investigation.

In the video, the man being arrested can be heard arguing with the officer, telling the officer he's done nothing wrong and that he was waiting for someone.

The officer pushes the man onto a bench, and does so at least one more time after the man stands up. The officer can be heard claiming the man slapped his hand away.

Shortly after, as the man is sitting on the bench, the officer steps behind him and puts him in handcuffs with the help of two more officers.

The man becomes increasingly irate, threatening and yelling profanities at the officer. About four-and-a-half minutes he can be heard saying, “I already know what it is. I’m black as f*** out here. That’s what the issue is; it’s all good, I get it.”

NBC 7 does not know what happened after the camera stopped.

La Mesa City Councilmember Akilah Weber tweeted about the video Wednesday night.

“I was made aware of an incident involving one of our La Mesa Police Officers and an African American male,” Weber wrote. “I have spoken with Chief Vasquez and have requested additional details concerning this incident.”

La Mesa Mayor, Mark Arapostathis stated, "The City takes these matters very seriously, and consequently, in conjunction with the City Manager’s and City Attorney’s offices, has already begun the appropriate steps forward to investigate this matter thoroughly and take all necessary actions.”

LMPD said the encounter between the officer and the man had taken place near the Grossmont Trolley Station. The police officer will be on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

LMPD asks that any member of the public with information or video regarding this incident to contact them at (619) 667-1400.

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