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The State

Officer Suspended After Alleged Kicking Incident

January 27, 2003|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — An Oakland police officer has been suspended for apparently kicking a suspect whom other officers had restrained on the ground.

The Friday morning incident occurred after a car chase that continued on foot. It was filmed by a KNTV news helicopter.

The officer, whose name has not been released, scuffled with the man in a backyard, but the suspect won the fight and continued to run, according to Oakland Police Chief Richard Word.

Other officers subdued the man soon after. In the video, he appears to be flailing and kicking the restraining officers when the officer he originally fought runs up and kicks him.

"There's no excuse for kicking a suspect on the ground" unless an officer's life is in danger, Word told reporters. He said that had not been the case. The officer has been suspended with pay pending an investigation.

Police in Foster City, where the car chase began, identified the suspect as Lo Saelee of Oakland. They suspected him in a string of residential burglaries.

Harry Stern, an attorney for the officer, said Saelee attacked the policeman with a wood plank and tried to grab his gun. Stern said the officer thought Saelee was about to escape again when he saw him with the other officers.

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