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Mesa PD accused of using handcuffs as 'weapons' on man in November incident

Posted: 10:12 PM, Jun 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-20 08:49:25-04

The Mesa Police Department is once again facing allegations of excessive force, but this time, it's due to how officers used handcuffs in an incident dating back to November 2017. 

Late Tuesday, Mesa attorney Anthony Ramirez released body camera footage from the Mesa Police Department, showing his client, 30-year-old Terrence Kirkpatrick, getting arrested.

In the video, two officers are seen inside Kirkpatrick's apartment, commanding him to get up.  

Kirkpatrick told reporters Tuesday he was actually the one who initially called the police to report someone trying to break-in to his home. 

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Instead, officers discovered he had two misdemeanor warrants and attempted to take him into custody. 

In the video, you can hear officers struggle and command Kirkpatrick to stop resisting.  

A few minutes later, he's led outside and hog-tied, according to his attorney. His attorney doesn't take issue with that part of the story but is upset that police did not loosen Kirkpatrick's handcuffs after he expressed that he was in pain. 

He calls it both a civil rights and constitutional rights violation. 

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"Handcuffing is a use of force," explains Ramirez. "And that use of force, just like any other use of force, has to be reasonable." 

Six minutes into the tape, Kirkpatrick can be heard asking officers to "loosen these cuffs," and explains his wrists are hurting.  

Mesa police decline and one officer is heard saying, "That's what happens when you fight police."

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Ramirez says this is proof officers used those handcuffs as weapons, instead of as restraints. 

"He said, 'This hurts!' And they said, 'Yeah! It's supposed to!' No, they're not. No, they're not." 

Ramirez goes on to say, "There's a cancer there, and it absolutely needs to be addressed right now."

Mesa police are currently looking into three other accusations of excessive force that have come to light in just the past few weeks. Seven officers are on leave as those incidents are investigated.   

ABC15 reached out to Mesa police late Tuesday and was told they would consult with their professional standards department and issue a response Wednesday.