Cop caught on video punching handcuffed man
The Guam Police Department investigating a video gone viral showing what appears to be a police officer punching a man cuffed and in custody. KUAM News spoke with a witness who was there and shot video of the incident.
The witness we spoke with wished to remain anonymous in fear of his safety and possible retaliation but tells us what he saw on his day off at Ypao Beach in Tumon. He tells KUAM it was around 11:30 today when he was in his car in the parking lot getting ready to go for a walk when he began to see several police cars pull in.
And I was concerned for public safety and I was just curious to know what was going on," he said.
The witness told KUAM he got down from his car and started walking toward the scene. He noticed a man sitting in the back of one of the police cars. Moments later the man was escorted out of the vehicle by an officer who then walked with him toward the beach, they and turned around and started heading back to the police car.
"That's when I decided to record what was going on and that's when the incident of that cop punching the arrested guy who was defenseless in the gut," he said. "From my standpoint from everything that I saw I didn't see any sign or anything you know showing that the guy was trying to resist or trying to fight back or anything. I mean there was like five or six officers there so I really don't see what was the whole point of the officer having to punch the guy while he was escorting him into the vehicle back into the cop car."
The witness says he posted his video on social media, ironically on the Guam Crime Watchers Facebook page, which he created to bring the community together to help fight crime on island.
"Because the crime rate is so high on Guam I thought it would be one way for people to spread the awareness of what's going on in the areas in their villages and stuff like that and if they have proof that a crime occurred and if they're trying to get information or trying to spread awareness so everyone else can be better prepared," he said. "Or if someone knows this person that committed this crime it will help alleviate and help solve the crimes that are going on. It's just basically public awareness."
And in this instance he posted the video to create awareness about the conduct of a police officer.
Late this afternoon GPD issued a statement confirming Chief of Police Steve Ignacio ordered an immediate criminal and administrative investigation surrounding the video and the activities contained within it. Chief Ignacio stresses that it is important the department remains above reproach when performing their duties and responsibilities, in order to maintain the trust and respect from the public.
Because of the active investigation police are not releasing the name of the officer who allegedly punched the man in custody.