LAPD Completes Review of Venice Beach Use of Force

November 21, 2006

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell today announced that the Department has completed its review of a complaint investigation involving a non-categorical use of force arrest that occurred on February 8, 2005, at Venice Beach.

Thirty year-old Benjamin Barker was arrested after store owners on Ocean Front Walk called 9-1-1 and reported that Barker had attacked a store owner and was spitting on patrons and challenging them to fight. After handcuffing Barker, officers tried to put him in the back of a police car. At one point Barker spit on an officer who then used Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray on Barker.

A person who witnessed the arrest captured it on videotape. The tape was given to the Consent Decree Independent Monitor. On August 17, 2005, a copy was sent to Chief William Bratton for his review and to initiate an administrative complaint investigation. Today Chief McDonnell announced the Department has completed its investigation.

The Department is unable to disclose further information concerning the investigation due to State laws restricting the release of information related to confidential personnel investigations.

Chief Bratton has completed a separate review of Department policies and guidelines as it relates to the use of OC spray and has concluded no changes need to be made. "OC spray is a highly effective non-lethal tool that is necessary for officers to use when trying to de-escalate a confrontation with an uncooperative and or combative suspect," said Chief Bratton.

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