LOS ANGELES (FOX 11) - “Did he just knock him out? He just knocked him out,” a neighbor’s voice is heard on video.
Handcuffed and lying face down, a cell phone video shows Taaj William's unconscious body. The 20-year-old said it happened when a police officer slammed him to the ground.
“He had his arm around my neck while my hands were cuffed,” Williams explained to FOX 11. “Then he switched it and slammed me on my face.”
It’s hard to miss William’s black eye, which he said is a result of his head hitting the pavement.
The video, taken from a neighbor's window, starts with Williams and his friend in handcuffs behind the gate of their apartment complex on Inglewood and Culver.
What happens next is off camera, but when Williams appears on video again, he’s not conscious and the unidentified officer is standing over him.
“When he slammed my head I hit my nose and I hit my side of my face,” Williams said.
Williams mother is then seen on the video leaning over her son while he lay on the ground. Her screams are heard on the video.
“I never seen anyone being unconscious so to me I thought he was dead so I just couldn’t control my emotions,” Williams mother, Tyeesha McDonald, said.
McDonald said it felt like several minutes until her son regained consciousness. The video then shows him against a patrol car where police appear to search him.
Officers from LAPD’S Pacific Division detained the two men after receiving several calls about a fight on a nearby bike path. Williams said he and his friend were the victims in that fight.
“I got slammed on my face for being a victim knocked out and I had nothing to do with the situation for me just defending myself and protecting myself,” Williams said.
FOX 11 brought William's allegations of excessive force against the officer to the department and showed the video to Captain Patricia Sandoval.
“After seeing the video, we have launched a personnel investigation and the department takes any type of excessive force extremely seriously,” Sandoval said.
The department’s Internal Affairs unit will now handle the investigation and is asking anyone with information to come forward.
Williams said paramedics evaluated him on scene, but he didn’t go to the hospital. He and his friend were not arrested.
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