An LAPD officer caught on video repeatedly punching a man in Boyle Heights was charged with assault Tuesday.
The incident occurred April 27, when officer Frank Hernandez and his partner responded to a trespassing call in a Boyle Heights parking lot. As they were apprehending Richard Castillo, Hernandez struck him multiple times.
The incident was captured by both third-party cell phone and LAPD body cam footage.
District Attorney Jackie Lacy’s office said that Hernandez was charged with one count of assault under color of authority and is being accused of illegally punching Castillo over the head and neck.
“This is a disturbing case of the illegal use of force at the hands of a police officer,” Lacey said. “In this case, we believe the force was neither legally necessary nor reasonable.”
The citizen phone footage was shared through social media, being posted on multiple accounts, while the LAPD later released the body cam footage from both Hernandez and his partner.
Castillo can be heard in the body cam footage saying, “Ain’t nobody acting defiant, ain’t nobody getting crazy but you.” After words are exchanged, footage eventually shows Hernandez repeatedly striking Castillo while swearing at him. Later in the video, Hernandez alleges Castillo grabbed his hand while the arrest was being made.
“The Los Angeles Police Department continues to fully cooperate with the District Attorney’s office, regarding the Felony Assault Under the Color of Authority charges against Frank Hernandez,” the LAPD said in a statement. “The complaint and use of force investigations of the April incident, that captured disturbing video of a confrontation with a trespassing suspect, are nearing completion. Hernandez has been stripped of all police powers and has been assigned home.”
If convicted, Hernandez faces a maximum of three years in Los Angeles County jail.