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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (FOX 11) - Up-and-coming singer Jesus Ortiz Paz, a popular musician within the Latino community, is accusing the San Bernardino Police Department of police brutality after he was arrested over the weekend following a house party.
Ortiz Paz says police officers left him bruised and bloodied after his face was slammed by officers. Police say he was resisting arrest.
The incident began at about 10 p.m. May 11 after police received several calls about a loud party at a home in the 700 block of West 27th Street that included fireworks, according to the San Bernardino Police Department. They say when officers showed up, the partygoers became unruly and refused to turn down their music or cooperate with officers' orders.
During this time, police say an officer pulled over a vehicle that was leaving the party with Ortiz Paz and another man inside. They say Ortiz Paz was uncooperative after officers found evidence of drug sales. That's when a struggle occurred and Ortiz was arrested and taken to San Bernardino County Jail.
Ortiz Paz says he followed the officers' orders to get out of the car but refused to take his bag off and leave it in the car.
"That was my personal bag and I just put it on, and I told the cop, I'm listening to you, put your hands behind your back, I put my hands behind my back," said Ortiz Paz.
At that point, police say Ortiz Paz resisted arrest and didn't follow commands.
"First two cops slammed me, and the other 3rd cop comes running and I see him and he just gets my head and for no reason just rubs it on the concrete," Ortiz Paz said.
Police later found a loaded rifle at the house the party was at. Ortiz Paz says that rifle is not his and the house where police found the firearm is not his either.
Ortiz Paz believes police are trying to smear him by claiming he was resisting arrest, and he says he wants bodycam footage released. He says he spent 10 hours in jail and is charged with resisting arrest.
San Bernardino police say they've been getting online backlash because of Ortiz Paz's allegations, but they're standing firm on their story saying in a statement to FOX 11:
"Mr. Ortiz Paz resisted arrest and would not comply with officers commands and a subsequent struggle ensued. Based on our review of the use of force, initial investigation shows there is no indication of impropriety on the part of our officers."
The 22-year-old singer has massive online popularity as part of the group Fuerza Regida.