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Mission police officers seen in a video restraining a screaming man during his arrest used “reasonable force” against him, police say.
In a viral video that was posted on Facebook Wednesday evening, Mission police officers were seen punching a man-Miguel Angel Garza Jr.-and kneeling on him outside a restaurant on the 2400 block of East Interstate 2.
The 2-minute video has been viewed by more than 44,000 people as of Thursday afternoon.
In a statement, the Mission Police Department defended the actions of the officers seen in the video.
“The officers, having knowledge that the defendant was wanted for a violent felony and was now being combative, used reasonable force to effect the arrest,” the statement reads “During the process of restraining the defendant, officers felt they were in imminent danger as the defendant placed his hand under his body reaching to his waist line.”
Police arrived to the scene Wednesday at around 4:50 p.m. in response to reports of a a male individual-Garza Jr.-laying in the grassy median of the parking lot of a restaurant.
According to the statement, Garza Jr. “emitted an odor of alcohol” and was cooperative with officers at first and gave them his name and date of birth, leading to a check for local warrants that found he was wanted by the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office on a failure to appear robbery warrant, leading officers to arrest him.
“At first, he complied with the officer’s request to place his hands behind his back, however, he then started to resist,” the statement said. “The officers struggled to handcuff the defendant as he placed his arms underneath his body in order to avoid being handcuffed.”
The female officer seen in the video injured her hand during the struggle, causing the male officer to punch Garza Jr. before he finally pulled his hand from under his body and arrested, the release stated.
Garza Jr. was transported to Mission Regional Medical Center but refused medical treatment, according to the Mission Police Department. He was arraigned before Municipal Court Judge Mauro Reyna and charged with resisting arrest and assaulting police officer and given a $6,000 bond for both charges.
He remains in the Hidalgo County Jail as of Thursday. The female officer was also transported to Mission Regional Medical Center for a fracture on one f her fingers, the release said.
The Mission Police Department will be reviewing the process of the arrest to assure all policies and procedures were followed during the arrest, the department stated.