ROCKLIN, Calif. — The Placer County District Attorney's Office released video Wednesday of the 2017 incident where Rocklin Police Officer Brad Alford was accused of using excessive force on a DUI suspect. Alford was acquired of the charges this May.
The man, Emelio Perez-Chavez, was originally followed because Alford suspected he was driving under the influence. According to his attorney, Perez-Chavez suffered a broken arm and a fractured finger as a result of the Sept. 24, 2017 arrest.
Based on review of video evidence, the Placer County District Attorney Office R. Scott Owens chose to filed a criminal complaint against Alford for:
- Assault with personal use of a deadly weapon
- One felony count of assault by a public officer
In May, Alford was acquitted of the excessive forces charges by a Placer County Jury.
After the trial, a judge allowed the release of video evidence against Alford. The video evidence was originally sealed to protect the officer's right to a fair trial.
After the jury's decision to acquit, the DA's office released the footage and a statement saying that they respected, but did not agree with the jury's decision. The statement, dated June 19, reads, in part:
"While our office disagrees with the outcome, we respect the Jury’s verdict. We also understand that proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a high burden to meet.
Our office does, however, stand by our investigation and continues to believe that the prosecution in the case was appropriate given the video evidence that was presented to the Jury."
The Placer County DA's office said that the videos speak for themselves and that, "It remains clear to our office that Alford’s conduct was excessive and certainly not consistent with the conduct of other law enforcement officers in our County."
ABC10 was able to review several videos provided by the DA's officer - one that shows the full scene, and several others that appear to be the body camera footage of the arresting officers.
In the videos the officers can be heard yelling at the driver, Emelio Perez-Chavez, to get out of the car with his hands up.
"Put your hands up! Get out of the car. I'm gonna shoot you if you don't f****** start complying! Get out of the f****** car!" a male officer is heard yelling at Perez-Chavez.
As he exits the car, officers are still yelling at him to get down, but he remains standing with his hands in the air.
Officer Alford is then seen grabbing his baton from his patrol car, continuing to yell at Perez-Chavez and screaming profanities.
Officer Alford: "Get on your f***** knees!"
Perez-Chavez: "Come on, man!"
Officer Alford: "Get down!"
As Officer Alford gets closer to him, Perez-Chavez, still with his hands up, crouches to the ground just as Alford takes his first swing with the baton. He continues to swing for the next 25 seconds as Perez-Chavez, lying with his back on the ground, is heard wailing.
Perez-Chavez is heard wailing for the officer to calm down as the officer continues to yell at him, saying "Get down! Quit fighting! Get on your stomach!"
Perez-Chavez can barely be heard underneath the yelling, saying "I'm turning over," to the officers.
His cries continue as officers cuff him, get him up and move him toward a patrol car.
VICTIM'S ATTORNEY RESPONSE:
Though unable to comment, Emelio Perez-Chavez's attorney, Steward Katz said the following for his client:
"The Placer County DA genuinely deserves a lot of credit for having the courage to go to trial against a police officer and charge him criminally.
Sacramento and other counties have yet to do that (in other use of force cases).
The result of the case was not the best result, but the silver lining is that they brought it to trial and brought it to light.
Their (the court's) concern with releasing the video before the trial was that it would contaminate the jury pool. But when you watch the video, you can understand why the DA would file a criminal case."