A man that was the victim of a Long Beach beating by police officers has recently shown signs of mental illness according to his girlfriend. Yahoo News showed the video on Sept. 4, 2013, that showed the man being violently subdued by police and beaten in the street.
Lee Ann Hernandez says that 46-year-old Porfirio Santos-Lopez is her boyfriend and that he has recently been acting very paranoid and out of sorts. She doesn't believe that his actions still deserved the beating he took from police this past Monday.
The nearly five-minute video has made waves on YouTube and shows the Long Beach police beating Santos-Lopez as he lays on his back in the street. He was taken into custody after allegedly getting into a right with two other men and then engaging in a struggle with police.
To subdue Santos-Lopez, police used a Taser on him repeatedly on his legs and also beat his body with batons.
“The baton and the Taser are tools for us to use and get a combative subject into custody,” said Long Beach police Sgt. Aaron Eaton. “In this case, the suspect was adamant that he was not going to roll over onto his stomach.”
“When you look at the initial video, it just doesn’t look good,” Eaton said. “We want to refrain from using that judgment on a first impression.”
Hernandez said that Santos-Lopez has had a drinking problem and tried to have police get him psychiatric treatment several times. She also said that lately he's been acting very differently, hearing voice, and even seeing people that aren't really there.
“He thinks my late husband is here,” she said. “He thinks he’s angry and he’s trying to hurt him.”
After his release from the hospital, Santos-Lopez was booked by the Long Beach police. The man suffered a broken arm and other injuries in the Long Beach beating.
A standard use-of-force investigation has begun on the officers involved, but as of Wednesday, they were still on duty.