Long Beach police have been accused of brutality after a YouTube video shows an officer striking a prone man multiple of times with a baton.


Several officers are shown surrounding the man, who is lying on the ground, and then one of the officers strikes the man in the legs as the others shout orders.

The video, which was posted to YouTube on Monday, also shows the man being Tased by the officers at least once Monday at Locust Avenue and South Street.

"Police can only use force that is proportionate to the risk of injury or resistance," said Peter Bibring, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union. "And it's difficult to see how striking someone who's lying on the ground in a proportionate response."

Family members identified the man who was struck by police as Porfirio Santos-Lopez, 46, of Long Beach.

Santos-Lopez was taken into surgery late Tuesday at Long Beach Memorial Hospital for his injuries, his wife Lee Ann Hernandez said.

Long Beach police are expected to comment on the incident later today.

Police officers told KTLA-TV on Tuesday that the matter was being investigated.

Police have said video surveillance from a nearby store shows Santos-Lopez punching a man prior to the incident.

However, Bibring said even if Santos-Lopez had been violent, the repeated baton strikes seemed disproportionate, and what matters is the risk at the moment the force is used.

Local reaction to the video has been mixed with some stating the police over-stepped their bounds while others, who saw the surveillance footage, saying it may have been justified.

"He was already on the ground," said Carlos Uribe, when he was shown the videoon Tuesday night. "They didn't have to hit him."

Connie Morales, who saw the surveillance video, said Santos-Lopez looked like he was out of control.

"I don't know if it was excessive or not, but he was just swinging at people," Morales said.

It is unclear if Santos-Lopez will be arrested following his release from the hospital.

"On one hand, officers shouldn't have to risk serious injuries in the line of duty and they are entitled to use reasonable force, but the repeated baton strikes can be serious uses of force," Bibring said