Four officers in Glendale, California, have been placed on administrative leave after video surfaced Tuesday showing them struggling with a theft suspect, at one point kicking the male suspect in the head.
The officers, some in plainclothes, responded to a theft inside the Glendale Galleria mall around 7:10 p.m. Saturday, according to a Glendale Police Department statement. Officers made contact with the suspect inside the Dick’s Sporting Goods store, said police.
“While attempting to detain the suspect, a struggle ensued and force was used by the officers,” according to the release.
Video obtained by CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS shows the suspect on his back as four officers punch and kick him.
The shopper who recorded the incident, who did not want to be identified by the station, was outraged by the officer who kicked the suspect in the head, telling KCAL/KCBS the officer “wasn’t even there to begin with.”
“It was really hard to watch, we got traumatized,” said Melissa Navarette, identified by KCAL/KCBS as the suspect’s sister. She did not want to be shown on-camera, according to the station. “We still have all of the video, like, stuck in our head,” she said.
Stolen merchandise was recovered from the suspect, according to Glendale police, and he was arrested for petty theft and resisting an officer by force. Police say the merchandise was from another store in the mall.
Police are investigating the officers’ conduct and asking witnesses to contact the department with any information on the incident.
“Glendale Police officers are held to a high standard and we work hard to maintain the trust of our community,” said a GPD news release. “We take these types of incidents very seriously. Appropriate actions will be taken following the investigation.”