Footage of a white police officer breaking a black man’s leg by beating him with a baton during a violent arrest has been released by officials in Pasadena, California, sparking condemnation from civil rights groups.
Christopher Ballew, 21, suffered a broken leg bone and a bleeding head wound while being detained at a gasoline filling station on November 9.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), an African American civil rights organization, called the officers’ actions “reprehensible” and “inhumane.”
“We are concerned that such treatment continues against people of color, especially black males,” Delano Yarbrough, Pasadena’s local NAACP president, told Pasadena Weekly.
The footage shows police attempting to arrest Ballew after he allegedly committed multiple traffic violations while driving his vehicle.
Footage recorded by a bystander shows one of the policemen hitting Ballew’s back with the baton, then striking his legs twice, while another officer punches him.
After his arrest, Ballew was released on a $50,000 bond the next day. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office decided not to prosecute him, citing a lack of evidence.
Ballew plans to take legal action against the city.
“We will be pursuing a claim for money damages. The reason is not just to get justice for him and compensation for what are some significant injuries that he has sustained but also to find out and document and expose what happened here,” said his lawyer, John Burton.
Numerous demonstrations have been held across the US in recent years over the killing of unarmed African-American men by white police officers.
US police officers fatally shot nearly 1,000 people last year, with a disproportionate number of those being black.