As the country reeled from reports of George Floyd’s death while in custody of a policeman in Minneapolis, the arrest of Amaurie Johnson changed La Mesa from a little rural city to the regional center for racial variations in policing.
Johnson, 23, was jailed by La Mesa Police officer Matt Dages, a three-year veteran on the force throughout a run-in exterior of an apartment building throughout the street from the La Mesa trolley stop.
Video of Amaurie Johnson’s arrest was published to Instagram recently and rapidly went viral in the middle of require police responsibility following the death of George Floyd.
Now, brand-new testimony from a witness at the scene in addition to body video camera video from 6 La Mesa Police Officers, is shedding brand-new light on the controversial arrest that triggered discontent in the east county city.
This is one of 8 bodycam videos launched by the La Mesa Police Department revealing the arrest of AmaurieJohnson This is the bodycam video on the jailing officer. The very first couple of seconds are silenced.
In the afternoon of May 27, Johnson stated he was awaiting pals to select him up from outside their house when Officer Dages approached him to question him why he was outside the apartment or condos.
The officer purchased him to rest on a close-by bench. When Johnson attempted to get up when his pals got here, Officer Dages restrained Johnson and pressed him back onto the bench. Johnson attempted to get up another time and Dages once again pressed Johnson down. Dages later on jailed Johnson for battery on a peace officer and withstanding arrest.
On Wednesday, throughout a tense press conference, La Mesa chosen authorities launched the body video camera video from the 6 policeman who came to the scene. During the videos, Johnson is heard revealing his aggravation with the treatment, even recommending that he was terrified of getting shot in the back of the police vehicle.
“I know what the problem is, I am black as f*#$,” stated Johnson throughout the arrest and taped on the officer’s body video camera.
As Officer Dages led Johnson to his patrol car, Johnson informed the officer, “I hope you don’t kill me in the back of this car, though, that’s what I hope. I hope you don’t shoot me in the back of this car or some shit, that’s what I hope.”
And while the body video camera video programs Johnson noticeably upset over his treatment and subsequent arrest, it is the video taken by a witness who saw the whole run-in unfold that caused public protest over the arrest.
“I think that it was handled very poorly,” stated the MTS employee who wanted to stay confidential.
The witness stated she was feet far from Johnson when Officer Dages approached him.
“I think that words should have been spoken from a police officer instead of hands. I feel like he should have released him when he found out that he was telling the truth.”
The witness thought the scenario would not have actually taken place were Johnson not a black male.
“The police officer escalated that situation,” stated the witness. “He wanted that situation to keep on going. I think the reason why he approached him is because he saw a black man in front of luxury apartments in La Mesa.”
The witness stated she felt Dages must have let Johnson go instantly when his pals brought up.
“As a mother of boys, I think that it was scary,” stated the witness. “It was scary for him being harassed or detained or whatever you want to call it. It was scary for me. And I also let the police know that.”
Added the witness, “There needs to be more words. There needs to be more understanding. We’re all individuals. We all just want to get home safe. I believe the officer needs to be placed on administrative leave. I don’t feel like this is the business for him. I don’t feel like this is, this is something that needs to do for a lifetime. He couldn’t, he was not here for the citizens of La Mesa or the citizens of San Diego.”
Meanwhile, at a June 3 press conference, chosen authorities in La Mesa stated they have actually released an independent examination to take a look at the arrest.
In concerns to the factor Dages questioned Johnson, La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vazquez stated Dages presumed Johnson was cigarette smoking in a location where it was not enabled, which’s what began their encounter. Vazquez stated Dages is now on paid-leave pending the result of the examination.
Johnson was at the press conference and spoke with the media later on.
NBC 7’s Melissa Adan talked with neighborhood members who were singing at a press instruction with La Mesa police.
“Pretty much what you see is what you receive from the video that you see online,” Johnson said. ” I challenge anyone who does have any other video to launch it and reveal anything that states otherwise.”