Video prompts concern of excessive force by police
CHICO, Calif. - A video of a Chico police officer's interaction with a rollover crash victim has some asking if he went too far in the name of safety.
64-year-old Joseph Rosales said he feels Officer David Bailey abused him after he rolled his car, but the police department said they were trying to prevent further injury to him and their officer.
The video is raising a lot of questions about why an officer would use this amount of force on someone who was just involved in an accident. Chico police officials said Rosales wasn't listening and they were trying to get him out of harm's way.
Bailey arrived at the scene of a rollover crash on Pillsbury Road last Tuesday.
It was caused by Rosales' dog jumping into his lap. Bailey told Rosales part of the building could fall on them both and orders him out of the car. Rosales told Bailey he needed to get his dog.
"I don't want to get killed because you want to get your dog," Bailey said to Rosales on the video. The video then shows Rosales looking down in the car slow to respond. The officer becomes more forceful and grabs Rosales' arm.
"There you can see and he tried to break it," said Rosales referring to the video. "See he's twisting it, you can see the marks he left." Rosales eventually begins slowly making his way out of the car. Medical crews were not yet on scene.
As Bailey is getting Rosales out, his foot gets caught on the seat belt and the video ends just before Rosales hits the ground. "Nobody should be treated the way that I was. Period," said Rosales, "Especially if they are in a car wreck. The Chico police officer hurt me worse than the accident did." The Chico Police Department said they believe Bailey did the right thing and was trying to save both of their lives. "The way that we evaluate this will be the actions of the officer versus the circumstances that were present," said Lieutenant Mike O'Brien of the Chico Police Department. "Did the officer see a need to get that person out of that car? I would say absolutely."
Rosales said the City of Chico has reached out to him, but he said he's planning to sue the Police Department. Chico police officials said they are investigating this case to see if the officer used excessive force.
Officials said this is a personnel matter and they can't say much more than that.
The copy of the video we obtained has three edits and we are working to get a more complete, unedited copy.
Here's a link to the video: http://youtu.be/VQ-rFNuz3Vc