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Roseville police respond to video showing officers pinning suspect

The video showed two officers pinning and striking a suspect in the May 22 incident.

Roseville Police Department has issued a lengthy statement in response to a video shared on social media that shows two officers pin and strike a suspect in a front yard.

The video, which you can watch at the bottom of this page, shows the black, male suspect being held on the ground by two officers, one of whom strikes him repeatedly in the shoulder as the other tries to put the his arm behind his back so he can be arrested.

In its statement, Roseville PD said that the man had already been tasered and pepper sprayed by this point, but it had minimal effect. 

By the end of the three-minute video, five officers are holding him down, one of whose knee appears to be on the suspect's neck, while a woman recording shouts: "Get your foot off his neck, he has a spine injury ... you're trying to kill him."

Roseville PD said he continued to "kick, yell and thrash" while he was being evaluated by paramedics later, complaining he couldn't breathe.

Police Chief Rick Mathwig said the force used was "in compliance with Roseville PD's Use of Force policy and training," with the details released by the department so it is "consistent with our commitment to transparency & accountability."

"They give measured responses to the active resistance of the suspect," he added, noting that "force used by law enforcement is never pretty to look at and Roseville police officers use it judiciously when taking someone into custody."

The suspect later told officers when at the hospital that suffers from mental health issues.

The police department says it takes allegations of excessive us of force seriously and has reached out to those involved, offering information on how they can file a formal complaint.

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What happened?

As Roseville PD tells it, the incident on May 22 saw officers called to the home in the 600 block of Hwy. 36, after the resident asked for police to remove a man from her property.

They told the dispatcher that it was possible the man would fight with police, while another 911 call saw the person tell dispatch they'd just been assaulted.

When they arrived they broke up a fight between the man and a woman, and one of the officers told the man they'd be placing him in handcuffs until they could figure out if a crime had been committed.

The suspect became agitated and tense, and "appeared to be preparing to fight the officer."

When the officer struggled, his partner came out to assist, eventually using a taser and pepper spray as they failed to get him under control.

They eventually brought him to the ground, which is about when the footage starts.

Police say the suspect kept trying to reach for his waist, "and the officers noted that they feared he may be reaching for some type of weapon."

This is when one of the officers started punching his shoulder to stop him reaching, which he continued after the suspect looped his fingers around his waistband so they couldn't get one of his hands behind his back.

Chief Mathwig said:

"You can see the male subject’s right arm is alongside his body and you also see the officer struggling to move the suspect’s arm behind his back in order to apply handcuffs. The male subject uses his strength to defeat this. The other officer struck the upper right arm several times. The report indicates the officer did this in order to obtain compliance from the suspect and effect the arrest. The officer pauses in between the strikes to give the suspect enough time to comply. Sadly, the suspect does not comply until other officers arrived and with enough combined strength to finally overcome the suspect’s active resistance. You do not see any strikes to the head of the suspect because officers were acting in compliance with the Roseville Police Department’s Use of Force policy and training. They give measured responses to the active resistance of the suspect.”

Here's the video – be warned it contains offensive language and violent scenes.

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