National City

SDPD Investigating Rough Arrest After Partial Video Circulates on TikTok

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Some people are questioning whether two San Diego police officers used excessive force during an arrest that was recorded and posted on TikTok this week.

The arrest took place Sunday morning along National City Boulevard in National City, according to the San Diego Police Department.

One video clip shows an officer throwing a woman to the ground in the middle of the street as another officer runs towards them. While on top of the woman, one officer can be heard yelling at the woman to give up her hands and appears to punch the woman twice.

It's unclear what happened in the moments before the recording. SDPD said the arrest followed a police chase and foot pursuit.

SDPD told NBC 7 they understand the community’s concerns surrounding the video, and the department's Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the arrest. While some are questioning whether the level of forces used by officers was necessary, one retired law enforcement captain is cautioning against rushing to judgement without knowing the whole story.

"The very first thing that I always tell anybody is you have to get all of the facts, and that includes all of the facts and all of the circumstances that led up to the arrest situation," said Paul Cappitelli.

Cappitelli is a retired Sheriff’s department captain. He also served as a police officer for 30 years and has more than 44 years of experience in law enforcement operations. He is now a public safety consultant.

"But we don't know what took place prior to that, we don't know whether the person that was arrested had threatened the officer. We don't know if they could possibly have had a weapon," said Cappitelli. "We don't know if they were under the influence of drugs or anything of that nature."

The retired captain explained how there are times when police officers are able to or are justified in using force.

"When you see a police officer dealing with a person that they're trying to arrest, and that person is actively resisting and is failing to put their hands behind their back, and failing to cooperate and failing to submit to arrest, then police officers can use the force that they deem necessary to effect that arrest," Cappitelli said.

NBC 7 asked SDPD for more details regarding what happened prior to the arrest, but the department did not reveal anything else.

SDPD's Internal Affairs Unit will look into whether officers followed department procedures, and then it will be further evaluated by the Force Analysis Unit. Those findings will then be sent to the city’s independent Commission on Police Practices.

"If there are any deviations that they note from training or policy, then they'll make a decision as to whether or not they're going to address that with some type of disciplinary action," Cappitelli explained.

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