The unidentified El Monte police officer filmed Wednesday viciously kicking the head of Richard Rodriguez--a suspect who'd already surrendered and was lying on the ground spread eagle--should wish that, if he's prosecuted for assault, his case is moved to Orange County.
Juries here routinely refuse to hold cops accountable for excessive force (or sexual improprieties such as ejaculating on motorists). Indeed, after covering OC trials for 14 years, I can report that any one of the following explanations for the El Monte kicking incident would impress our juries:
5. The suspect asked me to kick him as I was approaching in a happy, non-violent mood.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
4. I slipped. No, really.
3. What's all the fuss about? It wasn't like I used the maximum amount of force available to me as a police officer risking my life protecting innocent citizens from dangerous hoodlums.
2. His head anticipated where my boot would be and moved to intersect its path.
1. I did it. So what? He was a gang-banger. I only wish I had decapitated him.