Police Officer Punching Young Black Man in Face Caught on Video

A police officer in California was seen punching a young Black man in the face during an arrested captured in a video that is circulating on social media.

Officers initially responded to a parking lot near the 200 block of East Stetson Avenue in Hemet at around 3.30 p.m. on Monday, the Hemet Police Department said in a press release.

Police said officers first approached 19-year-old Edmund Franklin after someone called 911 to report that he had been asked to leave by employees of a nearby business for allegedly "becoming aggressive" with them. Franklin was also allegedly panhandling in the area, police said.

"Mr. Franklin was informed that he was trespassing and needs to leave," police said. "Mr. Franklin was also advised that if he returned he would be subject to arrest for trespassing."

Franklin left the area, but police said they were called to the scene for a second time about 45 minutes later after they were told Franklin had returned and was refusing to leave.

Video obtained by KABC shows Franklin telling an officer that he would remove his backpack while an officer is seen grabbing Franklin and punching him in the face.

Franklin is soon forced to the ground and restrained by the officer, while bystanders are heard yelling. Franklin is later seen being handled by three officers while another officer is seen approaching outraged bystanders.

A witness told the station that Franklin was selling candy and had sold her some outside the grocery store shortly before police approached.

"The first responding officer approached Mr. Franklin and attempted to detain him for a trespass violation when a use of force occurred," police said in the press release.

Franklin was arrested on suspicion of trespassing, resisting an officer and attempting to disarm an officer, Hemet police said, adding that his bail was set at $10,000.

Hemet police said the department had launched an investigation into the officer's use of force and were aware of the video that was circulating online.

"We are reviewing the incident to include the social media posts and the Officer's body-worn camera video," police said. "This incident, like any use of force incident involving a Hemet Police officer, is taken seriously and will be thoroughly investigated."

The Hemet Police Department has been contacted for additional comment.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Captain Glen Brock by email at gbrock@hemetca.gov or by phone at 951-765-2473.

Police car stock photo
Stock photo. A police officer was seen on video punching a young Black man in the face during an arrest. iStock