POLICE BRUTALITY: Roseville officers accused of beating Mexican - KMSP-TV

POLICE BRUTALITY: Roseville officers accused of beating immigrant

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He says he was wrestled to the ground and had a Taser used against him during a routine traffic stop in Roseville, and he's doing more than claiming the cops went too far -- he's taking them to court.

The attorney representing Victor Hernandez told Fox 9 News police used excessive force last year, assaulting a young man and violating his civil rights even though he had done nothing wrong.

VIDEO: Lawsuit filed against Roseville police

Video footage shows police pull over a car that was spotted speeding near Lexington Avenue and Highway 36 last May. Once the car stops, the driver runs off and an officer chases after him. A full minute and a half later, Hernandez starts to get out of the front passenger seat -- but that's when the officer who chased the driver returned and threw Hernandez to the ground.

The force of the takedown broke the cell phone Hernandez had in his hand at the time, but his attorney said the violence didn't stop there.

The officer used a Taser on Hernandez, who does not speak English, a total of three times while yelling at him. Within seconds, three other officers join in, punching and kicking the 25-year-old Mexican immigrant while he lay moaning on the ground.

"I don't think he understood what the order was because of the language barrier," attorney Paul Edlund, who is representing Hernandez, told Fox 9 News.

Hernandez's attorneys say Roseville police not only used excessive force by assaulting Hernandez during what they call a "false arrest," but they say officers also violated his civil rights.

"Citizens have a right to be free of unlawful, excessive force from the police department," Edlund said. "Victor has that right, and that's clearly not what happened here."

According to attorneys, the dashcam video proves Hernandez did not resist or obstruct the legal process, which is why prosecutors eventually dropped all charges against him.

"I think a lot of people don't believe defendants because they are seen as criminals and I think people tend to believe the police," Edlund said. "Without the video, it's hard to prove a lot of times they've done what they've done."

While Edlund says the bruises visible in Hernandez's mug shot have healed, the emotional scars remain open and raw.

"Had the officers not encountered someone who was not a young Hispanic male, they would have dealt with the situation much differently than they did from the inception," Edlund contends.

Edlund also said he is concerned by the way those officers behaved in front of a camera, and said the ordeal is "a prime example of a case where the officer is making decisions that don't reflect the reality that is unfolding before him."

"I think this message needs to get hammered home to officers: This behavior isn't acceptable at all," Edlund said.

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