FBI Joins Kicking-Cop Probe
According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining
the actions of an El Monte police officer caught on video last month as he seemingly kicked a suspect who lay surrendered on a lawn. The suspect, Richard Rodriguez, is an alleged gang member and had been in a car with another man as the two were pursued by El Monte officers. TV-news helicopter cameras followed the high-speed chase as the suspects drove through stop signs and, at one point, onto a sidewalk.
Rodriguez eventually abandoned the car, fled to a back yard and lay prone as officers approached him. The officer seen kicking Rodriguez in the head has been identified as George Fierro and the FBI, which began requesting documents from the El Monte P.D. last week, is looking into the possibility that Fierro violated Rodriguez's civil rights.
The L.A. District Attorney's office and L.A. Sheriff's Department had
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earlier announced they were conducting their own probes into the
incident. Fierro has drawn additional attention because he sells a line of gang-themed T-shirts
and other casual attire. Called Torcido Clothing, Fierro's company boasts "some of the
hardest authentic jailhouse threads for the streets. Straight from East
L.A., Califas . . ." The veteran officer has been assigned to desk
duty since the incident. The Trib article concludes by noting
that an El Monte city council member has called on the FBI in the past
to investigate that city's police department.
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