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Body-cam video released of homeless man's arrest in La Jolla

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Posted at 2:56 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-22 02:32:21-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Police department released body-worn camera footage of an arrest involving a homeless man in La Jolla this month.

SDPD said the arrest on May 12 in La Jolla involving 34-year-old Jesse Evans began after officers with the Neighborhood Police Division said they "observed a man urinating in public."

Body-cam video shows officers approach Evans and a brief verbal exchange occurs before Evans walks away.

Officers circled their vehicle around to detain Evans, according to police, before the arrest. Much of the body-camera video during the arrest is obscured, but the audio is still legible in one account:

The body-worn camera of the first officer involved deactivated as they circled their patrol vehicle around to confront Evans. During the arrest, the camera, "did not reactivate. During the incident, the camera was dislodged and fell to the ground. Once the camera was picked up, it was reactivated," SDPD added.

SDPD said after officers caught up with Evans a second time, he "punched at Officer 2 several times."

The video includes witness video that begins halfway through the arrest. That account shows officers grabbing Evans and wrestling him to the ground. During the struggle, one officer is seen hitting Evans in the face. More officers eventually arrive and join in the struggle before the video ends.


Evans denied earlier this month that he was urinating in the neighborhood, but said that he was preparing to when he was approached by officers.

Evans said during a press conference after the arrest that while he forgave the officers for what happened, he hopes better relations between police and the homeless population are built.

"I hope I'm the last victim of such nonsense," Evans said. "I hope that we can hire reasonable individuals to look out for us and protect and serve our greater good in a better way, represent us in a better way as a community, as a nation."

In a statement from SDPD after the arrest, the department said Evans "would not stop to speak with officers therefore an officer held the man to detain him. Despite the officers repeatedly telling the man to 'stop resisting,' the man would not comply."

SDPD's Internal Affairs Unit is investigating whether any policy violations occurred during Evans' arrest.