An El Monte, Ca., police officer’s kick to the head of a suspect who was surrendering at the end of a televised pursuit was roundly criticized by use-of-force experts as an inexcusable and unnecessary tactical lapse, says the Los Angeles Times. As for the public, some said the officer should not have kicked Richard Rodriguez, 23, but many felt no sympathy for the parolee and known gang member. Some said he deserved the kick for leading police on a dangerous chase. “He spoke to my frustration over gang members,” said a liquor store owner.The officer, who was not identified, has been reassigned pending reviews.
Experts said it will be hard for the officer to justify his actions. Samuel Walker, a criminology professor at the University of Nebraska, called the kick to the head “unprovoked and unnecessary . It’s one of the worst incidents of this kind that I’ve seen.”