Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin defended his officers’ non-deadly use of batons during Friday’s arrest of a “very violent man.”
In response to cellphone video captured of the incident, McMillin said that Jose Velasco, 28, was high on methamphetamine and alcohol and had pushed his mother into oncoming traffic just moments before officers initiated contact.
“The video alone is horrific and inflammatory,” said McMillin. “Anybody who looks at that video without context would have concerns, because it looks terrible.”
Velasco was headbutting and biting officers and even managed to rip off a Taser, still in its holster, from an officer’s leg.
Before deploying their batons, officers first used Tasers, which had no effect on Velasco.
McMillin said viewers of the video should get the full story before getting upset.
“If people watch this video and get upset because they believe that the police were beating up a homeless guy, I would argue that they are misinformed,” said McMillin. “This was a very violent man beating a woman in a public street, tearing weapons from police officers’ belts, trying to bite them, trying to headbutt them.”
(This article was a submission by freelance writer Brent McCluskey)