LAPD officer charged with assault after video surfaces of violent exchange

The officer stated that the suspect clutched his hand, which he claims injured it in the process - prompting his decision to begin striking the trespasser.

LAPD Officers wear face masks as they patrol Hollywood Blvd during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 18, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS)
LAPD Officers wear face masks as they patrol Hollywood Blvd during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 18, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Frank Hernandez, 49, a Los Angeles Police Department officer, was charged with assault after he was caught on camera aggressively beating up a homeless man in Boyle Heights, according to the district attorney's office.
The videos, which include the officer's body camera feed and a bystander video, taken on April 27, show Hernandez violently striking a 28-year-old trespassing subject after the two exchanged verbal insults with one another.
Within the video both the officer and the suspect could be heard instigating one another, with the suspect telling the officer after, "you're a f**cking cop, not a gangbanger. Stop getting loud you don't f**king scare me nothing," and the officer laughing away as he tells the homeless suspect "you don't live here anymore. Bye," as he ushers him off the property.
Following the exchange, the suspect gets upset and starts moving towards the officer, who begins inching his way towards the suspect. The officer eventually has enough and proceeds to arrest the suspect.
After the heated exchange, the officer asks the suspect to put his hands behind his back. When he refuses, the officer forcefully shoves the homeless man into the fence he was leaning on – and the suspect continues to resist arrest.
The suspect then breaks free, prompting the officer to back up into a defensive stance. The homeless man then states, "I'm not f**king with you! I'll turn around but don't f**king push up on me, motherf**ker."
After the suspect went to put his hands behind his back, the officer claimed that he continued resisting. Eventually the exchange turned into an all out assault by the officer.
The officer stated that the suspect clutched his hand, which he claims injured it in the process – prompting his decision to begin striking the trespasser.
"F**k you b**ch. You f**king grabbed my hand motherf**ker. That's why I hit you," the officer told the suspect when his backup arrived.
The LAPD released a statement on Tuesday condemning the actions of the officer, calling the entire exchange "disturbing," adding that Hernandez "has been stripped of all police powers and has been assigned home."
"This is a disturbing case of the illegal use of force at the hands of a police officer," District Attorney Jackie Lacey said, according to ABC News. "In this case, we believe the force was neither legally necessary nor reasonable."
Hernandez is being charged with felony assault under color of authority, and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday. The video of the incident was released by the LAPD to YouTube.
Warning, this video contains explicit language and violence: