Mesa Police Officers Seen Mocking Bloodied Suspect After Arrest, Accused of Using 'Excessive Force'

Police bodycam footage from a January 28 arrest in Mesa, Arizona, shows officers forcefully detaining a man who was reportedly injured during the arrest, and later mocking him as he receives treatment in a hospital.

The suspect, 23-year-old Jose Luis Conde, was in the passenger seat of a vehicle with a driver named Edwin Cabanillas when they were stopped by officers due to a missing headlight. Police documents obtained by Storyful via Conde’s attorney, Bret Royle, reveal that the officers suspected both men of drug or alcohol use and asked Conde to step out of the car. When patting Conde down, one of the officers felt what he believed were drugs in Conde’s sock, and a scuffle ensued as Conde tensed up and turned to face the officer.

“Jose did not comply with orders to stop and he used a nearby pole to assist himself in standing back up while struggling with Sgt. Harris,” one of the police documents reads. “Jose attempted to fight off Sgt. Harris through swinging his fists and attempting to hit him. He was also pushing and shoving Sgt. Harris and Officer Miss, who had begun helping, but he was not able to get away and was ultimately detained in handcuffs and placed under arrest. During this struggle to detain Jose, Sgt. Harris and Ofc. Miss sustained injuries to include scrapes to their hands, elbows and knees. Even while in handcuffs Jose continued to struggle with officers that were attempting to search him.”

A report from Arizona Central indicates that Conde fell against a brick wall in the scuffle and sustained a cut behind his right ear that led to him being transported to hospital. In the hospital, Conde tried to escape after physicians stitched his wound and fell head first through a set of doors and began bleeding.

Conde’s was charged on multiple counts – including possession, resisting arrest and aggravated assault on police. The driver of the car he was in was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and awaits a court hearing on July 11.

According to Conde’s attorney, his client will go to trial on July 5. The attorney told Arizona Central that he released the footage to show an example of police using excessive force, and hopes to have Conde acquitted of the charges leveled against him.

This video compilation contains footage from multiple police bodycams and shows both the initial arrest as well as Conde lying on the ground in the hospital with officers surrounding him.

In the aftermath of the arrest, Conde can be heard moaning that he cannot breathe. Later as officers stand over him in the hospital, one of them says: “Awww… You gotta be a man… Man up.”

The Mesa Police Department had been recently criticized for its officers’ use of violence, prompting Chief Ramon Batista to give a press release on June 8 pledging that the department would strive to be better. Credit: Mesa Police via Bret Royle via Storyful