Man tried to get Hemet officer's gun during rough arrest, police say

Rob McMillan Image
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Man tried to get Hemet officer's gun during rough arrest: police
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Startling video showing a Hemet police officer punch a suspect during a violent confrontation is raising a number of questions, but police say the footage doesn't tell the whole story.

HEMET, Calif. (KABC) -- The Hemet Police Department says startling video that shows an officer punch a suspect doesn't tell the whole story of what unfolded during the violent confrontation.

Cellphone video captured by a witness shows the Hemet police officer subdue the trespassing suspect and take him to the ground. While on the ground, Hemet police allege the suspect was trying to get the officer's gun.

Hemet police also said there's several seconds of pushing before the witness began recording the video, as the officer was trying to get control of the man's hands.

Ultimately, 19-year-old Edmund Franklin was arrested on charges of trespassing, resisting an officer and attempting to disarm an officer.

RELATED: Hemet police officer punches trespassing suspect in confrontation caught on video

A video circulating on social media shows a Hemet police officer punch a trespassing suspect - an incident which has prompted an investigation.

Police added there is other video and audio of the incident, including from the officer's own body camera.

The incident happened Monday afternoon when someone called 911 from the parking lot of a Stater Bros. store at Stetson Avenue and State Street to report a man who was allegedly harassing customers while trying to sell candy. The man was allegedly getting aggressive with store employees, who asked him to leave the property.

Hemet police said when officers arrived, Franklin did leave and was told he would likely be arrested if he came back.

About 45 minutes later, police said Franklin returned. When police told him he was going to be arrested, the encounter turned violent.

The witness' video begins with the officer face-to-face with the suspect, who was wearing a backpack. The witness said the man was selling candy and sold her chocolate outside a grocery store.

Video shows Franklin tell the officer multiple times he'll take his backpack off while the police officer is seen grabbing him.

"I'll take it off," Franklin said in the video.

The officer then punches him and a scuffle ensues. As the scuffle continues, the officer takes the man to the ground and subdues him for several minutes with multiple people looking on, the video showed.

Several of the witnesses shout angrily at the police officer to get off the man.

Multiple police officers then arrive to the scene as the witnesses become more irate over the officer's tactics.

The police department said in a press release it's aware of the video and launched an investigation.

"We are reviewing the incident to include the social media posts and the Officer's body worn camera video," the police department said. "This incident, like any use of force incident involving a Hemet Police Officer is taken seriously and will be thoroughly investigated."

The case has been turned over to the police department's Office of Professional Standards for further review.