DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Police have released dash cam video which shows an officer punching and pistol whipping a suspect during a traffic stop late last year.
Officer Rene Villanueva has been fired and is also facing criminal charges of Official Oppression and Assault.
It all stems from an incident in November when Villanueva was reportedly working an off-duty job and a suspect, Ambrosio Monsavais, bumped an off-duty deputy with his truck. Records shows Monsavais led the Villaneuva on a nearly two-mile chase.
Dashcam video, provided by DPD, shows Villanueva reach into a suspect’s truck and make a punching motion with his right hand, while holding his gun. Villanueva then puts his gun away and punches the suspect two more times before forcefully throwing him on the ground, according to Dallas police. Villaneuva is seen hitting the suspect additional times while trying to handcuff him. Police say Monsavais
CBS 11 spoke with attorney Geoffrey Henley, who has tried police brutality cases. Henley is not involved in this case. He says many departments teach a sliding degree of acceptable physical force in making arrests, depending on resistance.
However, striking with a gun results in serious problems for an officer.
“The potential for abuse from pistol-whipping in particular is great, because presumably if you’ve already got a gun on him then there’s a high probability that the person is going to be cooperating,” said Henley. “Now subsequently to subduing this person you’re continuing to inflict pain.”
Monsavais received lacerations above his left eye as a result of the incident. He accepted a plea deal for his arrest and was deported.
Officer Villanueva was hired in March of 2007 and was assigned to the Northeast Patrol Division.
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