FRESNO, California — After a video shared on social media Wednesday claimed Fresno Police used excessive force — Chief Jerry Dyer wanted to set the record straight and defend his officers Thursday.
The video was posted on Facebook sometime Wednesday evening, according to Dyer. It depicts Roger Ismael, 39, on the ground with several officers keeping him down.
One of those officers is then seen punching Ismael seven times in the rib cage area.
The take down happened on East Bulldog Lane around 7:22 p.m. Callers to 911 said Ismael was under the influence of crystal meth and pulled a knife on other clients at a sobering center there.
In body camera video, officers can be seen trying to detain Ismael several times as he resisted. As things started to escalate, officers first threatened tasing Ismael several times before actually using the taser on him.
Even after getting tased, Ismael still resisted commands to put his hands behind his back. Officers were able to get handcuffs on one of his wrists, but as they struggled to get the second one cuffed — that’s when a sergeant decided to strike Ismael’s side.
Dyer said the body cam video shows use of force was a last resort.
“That Facebook posting only showed the seven strikes to the rib cage by the officer. It did not show all of the other resistance that lead up to it and the restraint, quite frankly, on the part of an officer,” he said.
Ismael was taken to the hospital after, there Dyer said Ismael claimed he wasn’t hurt.
“He made a comment, I believe…about how those body strikes had no effect on him. He said the officer hit like a girl,” Dyer said.
Dyer adds he knows using force in any way isn’t going to look pretty. But, he said it’s necessary for officers in some situations.
Ismael is facing charges for resisting arrest and being under the influence of meth. There is a follow-up investigation being conducted looking at more potential charges.