The beating begins at about the 2:50 minute mark.
On Wednesday July 29, 2015, Jose Carlos Escarcega-Ysaias, 19, was being investigated for being in possession of a stolen vehicle by Corporal Ryan Durrett of the Lubbock Police Department. Escarcega attempted to escape on foot before suddenly deciding to try to steal Durrett’s police cruiser. As the officer attempted to regain control of his vehicle he was being dragged and so in order to shake him off, Escarcega ran into a pole, severely injuring the corporal.
At this point the careless criminal must have realized the weight of what he was doing and that he could have just killed another human being, so he gave up his attempt to flee and sat next to the officer while he waited for backup to arrive.
As they pull up to the scene the first officer jumps out of his car and sends a big kick right to the face of Escarcega, who despite his horrible crime, was sitting placidly and not resisting or posing a danger. The kick is followed by punches which is followed by more officers joining in on the assault and batons being used.
In discussions that are audible after the incident one officer can be heard calling another ‘taser happy’ among some other questionable but mostly uninteresting banter.
The brutality of Escarcegas arrest was discovered by KCBD’s Investigates Team who made a public records request after noting that the suspect had severe facial injuries in his mugshots while the arrest report made no mention of resistance.
Those videos were shared were reviewed by city council members after a recommendation by city manager James Loomis. After watching the film, councilman Victor Hernandez posted a statement on Friday August 14th, 2015 publicly requesting an investigation into the abuse.
Mayor Glen Robertson responded to Hernandez’s statement by accusing the councilman of political posturing, as he knew that an investigation was already underway.
The Lubbock Police Department released their own statement on Friday:
On Wednesday, July 29, 2015, Corporal Ryan Durrett was attempting to arrest Mr. Jose Escarcega for being in possession of a stolen vehicle. Mr. Escarcega evaded Corporal Durrett on foot and then attempted to steal his police vehicle. Mr. Escarcega intentionally assaulted Corporal Durrett by ramming the police vehicle into a utility pole and traffic signal pole. Corporal Durrett sustained serious injuries including a career threatening injury.
The actions of the officers responding to assist Corporal Durrett in taking Mr. Escarcega into custody has been under review. Chief Brewer has ordered a formal Internal Affairs Investigation into the actions and tactics used by those responding officers. As a matter of policy, The Lubbock Police Department does not tolerate the use of excessive force.
The Internal Affairs Investigators will gather the facts and present the findings to Chief Brewer.
No other information will be released until the investigation is complete.
While there can be no excusing Escarcega’s crimes, nor belittling the harm he brought to Durrett, the actions of the responding officers were way out of line. The copsucker mind right now is going “BUT HE DESERVED IT!” And while that may be true on the playground, it is not the sort of conduct that should be expected or allowed by public servants. That position comes with the agreement to act more nobly and professionally than the sort of abuse citizens inflict on one another. Doing the right thing is not just the right thing for LEO’s to do, it is also the law. So unless you have no regard for either the law or the profession of police, you have no business defending actions like these, regardless of how horrible the criminal/crime was. Beating a non-combatant and unresistant man is wrong and it is against the law. Case closed.