SAN DIEGO - 10News was given dramatic cellphone video that shows a San Diego man being beaten by San Jose police.
The video was recorded by someone from across the street, but even from a distance, the sounds of the police baton strikes are audible.
Onlookers screamed as 23-year-old Nathaniel Howard was on the ground being beaten, handcuffed and later taken into custody by San Jose police.
10News spoke with Howard, who described his ordeal.
"My hands are forced behind my back," he said. "They throw me on the ground, pick me up, throw me on the ground again, hit me with a baton."
Howard is based in San Diego and travels as a motivational speaker. On that night in May, he says he was celebrating downtown after delivering the commencement speech at San Jose State's graduation ceremony.
Howard says it all started because he questioned officers about their rough treatment of a friend who they caught urinating on the sidewalk. The friend received a citation, and Howard was jailed.
"To be beaten like that, handcuffed, taken and put in a cell, bruised badly and then released with no communication, no charges, no police report anything," he said.
He says nothing was ever filed, so he filed his own paperwork, a complaint with the police department that he says went nowhere.
Howard then took his case to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights on Wednesday and they filed a formal conduct complaint against the department.
"I'm not against cops," said Howard. "I'm not against the police. What I really do want to say is if you do have a couple bad cops it represents the whole system."
Howard says what he really wants is work with police on their protocol, but he also wants an apology.
San Jose police declined to comment to KGO-TV, 10News' ABC affiliate in the San Francisco Bay Area.