Gustavo Alvarez was brutally assaulted by police at his home in Palo Alto, California for allegedly driving with a suspended license on Feb. 17, 2018.
Alvarez, who claims to have been harassed by the police before, set u a video camera surveillance system to catch the cops in the act, notes KNTV.
Sgt. Wayne Benitez reportedly punched Alvarez in the ribs, then the face, and then slammed his face into the windshield causing Alvarez to start bleeding as a tooth is knocked loose.
One cop told Alvarez: “You’re going to bleed a hell of a lot more.”
Benitez was later caught on police audio tape bragging about the assault on Alvarez, and is also heard mocking Alvarez for being gay.
A judge ruled the officers lacked sufficient legal justification to detain and arrest Alvarez, and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office dropped the four misdemeanor charges against Alvarez.
KNTV notes that the officers never mentioned the use of force in their police report, which may be evidence of a cover-up:
The use of force captured on Alvarez’s security camera is never mentioned in officers’ police reports, and use of force reports required by department policy were never submitted. Alvarez’s attorneys say the video challenges the entire legal basis of the arrest and subsequent criminal charges.
Alvarez filed a civil rights lawsuit against the police department in April.