CALIFORNIA— An LAPD officer was charged on June 9 with an on-duty assault of a 28-year-old man that took place in April, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

LAPD officer Frank Hernandez, 49, was charged with one felony count of assault under color of authority after he was caught on video repeatedly punching a male suspect who was being detained on trespassing. On April 27, Hernandez and his female partner responded to a call of a trespasser in a vacant lot in Boyle Heights. During a confrontation between police and the victim, Hernandez is accused of illegally punching the unarmed man more than a dozen times in the head, neck, and body. The incident was captured on a cellphone camera by a bystander and later confirmed with Hernandez’s body camera footage. 

District Attorney Lacey stated the following in a release on her Twitter account,

“This is a disturbing case of the illegal use of force at the hands of a police officer,” District Attorney Lacey said. “In this case, we believe the force was neither legally necessary nor reasonable.”

An arraignment for Hernandez is scheduled for Thursday, June 11 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. If convicted, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of three years in county jail.

This incident comes at the same time as many people continue to protest police brutality across the nation after being sparked by the death of a Minneapolis man, George Floyd, on May 25 at the hands of a police officer.