LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The ACLU of Southern California is calling for the immediate suspension of the El Monte police officer who was caught on videotape today as he brutally kicked a suspect who was prone on the ground, and then high-fived a fellow officer. The ACLU/SC also urges the Los Angeles County District Attorney to conduct a full and swift investigation into the actions of the police officer in this incident.

The following statement should be attributed to Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU/SC:

This video is truly chilling in the clarity with which it captures an egregious example of police abuse. It is perfectly clear that the suspect was prone on a grassy lawn, limbs extended, and lying still. The officer had a gun drawn and kicked him extremely hard in the head. That kick served no law enforcement purpose. It was unlawful punishment, apparently for leading the police on a pursuit.

“Based on what we have seen, it is clear this officer does not have the temperament to uphold the law. We urge the District Attorney’s Office to thoroughly and promptly investigate this incident.

“Whatever the suspect may have done to justify his arrest, punishment in our system of justice is meted out by courts following fair trials, not by lone officers inflicting physical beatings as they see fit.”