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Man in viral arrest video appears in Chula Vista court

Posted at 1:25 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 21:31:48-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- The man seen in a viral video being arrested by San Diego Police pleaded not guilty to theft charges Thursday.

Trenelle Cannon will be in court again on Friday for reportedly resisting arrest. He is currently being held on $50,000 bail.

A 12-second-long video that surfaced on social media showed Cannon being struck by police officers.

Video later released by police showed what happened in the moments leading up the incident.

In the bodycam and helicopter video, Cannon can be seen tackling a police officer before other officers get involved.

RELATED: Watch: San Diego Police respond to violent arrest video

Cannon was arrested on warrants in Chula Vista Tuesday at about 6 p.m., according to his mother. He was booked into jail and charged with carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, robbery, and identity theft, according to SDPD.

"A 12 second video of this arrest was shared on social media without any context or details provided," police said in a news release.

According to police, undercover officers had been conducting surveillance of Cannon on the 600 block of E Street in Chula Vista when they requested uniform officers to arrest him.

SDPD Chief David Nisleit said Cannon then fled from officers, forcing police to give chase. At some point during the chase, a weapon was recovered where a witness last saw Cannon.

Nisleit said Cannon was located once again in the area of 1100 4th Ave., where he got into a car with four others. The vehicle then proceeded to get onto Interstate 5, where officers conducted a traffic stop.

During the traffic stop, Nisleit said Cannon tackled an officer to the ground, prompting multiple officers to assist in an arrest. Nisleit said officers feared Cannon had another weapon and used a "combination of physical force and distraction strikes" to restrain him.

"This is a very important key to note, once restrained and no longer a threat to officers no additional force was used on Cannon," Nisleit said.

Nisleit said Cannon and the officers involved were not injured, aside from slight abrasions.

Internal Affairs detectives were notified of the arrest and will evaluate officers' use of force and whether they followed policy. Based on the social media video and body-camera video, Nisleit said that he believed the appropriate amount of force was used by officers.

Shakira Smith, who identifies herself as Cannon’s girlfriend, as well as Cannon’s mother spoke at a news conference Wednesday.

Smith said she and Cannon were in a car with several friends when they were pulled over. She claims Cannon was pulled out of the car before being thrown to the ground. She then says officers piled on top of him.

Smith made no mention of what happened before the couple got into the car, when police say Cannon led them on a chase, allegedly dropping a gun along the way.

After screaming at police, Smith says she started recording the arrest. As she was recording, Smith says police told her: “put your phone away, you can’t do that.”

The family and others said they wouldn't answer any questions following the news conference.