LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A former federal law enforcement officer has pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge of kicking a man in the head while the suspect was restrained, face-down on the ground.
Ex-Department of Homeland Security officer Jason Michael Rouswell of El Sereno pleaded guilty Monday to willfully depriving the unnamed victim “of the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by someone acting under the color of law,” City News Service reported.
The incident captured on cell phone camera happened on October 20, 2016 outside the Pomona offices of the Social Security Administration.
According to the man who shot the video, Federal Protective Service officers were chasing the suspect.
“He starts to back off. He starts backing away, they pull out their Tasers,” Alex Garcia told CBS2 News in 2016. “He said, ‘Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.’ So they shoot him, they tase him and he falls to the floor.”
Garcia said the victim was punched in the back while another officer was putting him in restraints.
“(The officer) walked up to his face and just kicked him, like, in the face,” Garcia said. “The guy was already in handcuffs on the floor. There was no need. He wasn’t struggling, he wasn’t resisting arrest. He’s tased on the floor in handcuffs.”
Rouswell’s LinkedIn page identifies him as an inspector with DHS who has been with the agency since 2001.
Rouswell, 46, eventually turned himself in to police willfully and was charged with a civil rights violation last June. He will be sentenced on July 16 and faces up to 10 years in federal prison.