California Police Officer Suspended After Video Shows Him Stomping on Suspect's Face

A Redding, California, police officer hasplaced on leave after he was seen "forcefully stepping" on a suspect's head as he and other officers attempted to arrest him on Monday, Jan. 23.

The officer was not identified by Redding Police Chief Bill Schueller, who posted an announcement of the incident on Facebook on Sunday.

'Disturbing Use of Force'

Redding police officer
A still from the video that has been circulating on social media. Twitter

The chief said he placed the officer on leave after a video of the arrest, involving several Redding police officers, was posted on social media.

The clip showed a police officer pinning the suspect, identified as 39-year-old Kevin Donald Hursey, to the ground before he is attacked by a K9. A group of officers then surround the suspect, who can be heard screaming, before one of the officers is seen stomping on the man's face.

The following video is disturbing in nature. Viewer discretion is advised:

"Some of the force used is disturbing and may violate the standards of training and conduct required by members of the Redding Police Department," Schueller told the Redding Record Searchlight.

Scheuller Said Officers Tried to De-Escalate the Situation, Shot Him with Less-Lethal Round

Schueller said officers attempted to arrest Hursey for allegedly trying to break into parked cars in the parking lot of a hospice care in Redding on Monday. Officers at first tried to de-escalate their confrontation with Hursey, Schueller said. But the incident became combative, he added.

Staff at the care facility told police that Hursey attempted to pull something out of his pocket before they called police."He was uncooperative with officers, appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance and continued to place his hand in his waistband as though he was trying to retrieve a weapon," Schueller said in his post.

Hursey fought with officers, who shot him with a less-than-lethal bean bag round from a firearm and used a canine to subdue the man, Schueller said. "Ultimately, the man was taken into custody after a significant struggle. The end of the video shows one Redding police officer forcefully stepping on the head of the suspect," Schueller said.

Officer Placed on Leave, Powers Suspended

The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave and his peace officer's powers have been suspended, Schueller said.

Hursey received minor to moderate injuries in the incident. He was booked into Shasta County Jail on suspicion of resisting a peace officer, violence against an officer, prowling, vehicle tampering, interfering with a police canine, public intoxication and violating terms of his probation.

The Anderson Police Department is conducting an investigation into the incident, and the Redding Police Department's professional standards unit is also conducting an investigation, Schueller said.

Nationwide Protests over Fatal Police Beating of Tyre Nichols

The incident takes place amid nationwide protests to decry police brutality after the release of the bodycam footage of the violent Memphis police beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. Nichols could be heard yelling for his mother in the video of the Jan. 7 incident, which begins with a traffic stop and goes on to show officers repeatedly beating the young Black man with batons, punching him and kicking him, leading to his death three days later.