'They Laughed': Man Details Alleged Police Brutality in Mesa

Jose Conde says cops beat him, then mocked him during his January arrest
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2018 8:44 AM CDT
Mesa Cops Under Fire Again for Alleged Police Brutality
Jose Luis Conde speaks to the media at his attorney's office in Phoenix on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Terry Tang)

"This is no laughing matter." So said a 23-year-old Arizona man at a Thursday presser in which he detailed his January arrest by the Mesa Police Department, the Arizona Republic reports. Per CNN, Jose Conde says on Jan. 28 he was searched, then hurled to the ground, "heaved into a wall," stun-gunned, and "punched over and over by multiple cops. I was gouged in the eye and I was hit in the head with a massive police flashlight." And then, "they laughed at me while I lay in a pool of my own blood barely conscious." A police bodycam video has now emerged from the night Conde was arrested, after the car he was a passenger in was pulled over for not having its headlights on. Conde is seen stepping out of the car in the video, which is when the confrontation with the cops began.

As Conde screams, an officer is seen punching him. In a later video taken at the hospital, an officer can be heard saying to a bloodied Conde, "Bless his little heart. Aww. Man up." Conde's videos come on the heels of two others involving Mesa officers apparently using force: one in the case of a 15-year-old boy, and one in the case of Robert Johnson, who was arrested in May. Charges against Johnson have since been dropped. In Conde's case, the police report says he resisted arrest and threw swings at an officer who found cocaine in his sock. Police Chief Ramon Batista says his department is reviewing the case and has called for independent investigations, but that "simply put, the tape released … by media outlets does not tell the full story concerning this arrest." Conde, who was charged with narcotics possession, escape, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault on police, goes on trial in July. (More police brutality stories.)

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