San Luis Obispo police officer accused of brutality during arrest

July 18, 2022

By BEN DI GUGLIELMO

A video of an officer hitting a man repeatedly on the temple in San Luis Obispo during an arrest on Sunday has gone viral, leading to accusations of excessive force.

“SLO County Observer” live streamed and uploaded the video on YouTube, which now has over 8,700 views. While multiple commenters accuse the officer of brutality, others blame the suspect for resisting arrest.

Officers responding to a traffic hazard on Froom Ranch Road, pinned 29-year-old Justin O’Brien face down on the road. While three officers attempt to handcuff the suspect, he grabs hold of the handcuff with his free hand, according to the video.

An officer asks O’Brien to relax and explain he has warrants for his arrest.

“I am not Justin,” O’Brien repeatedly says.

A tall male officer warns the suspect he plans to punch him if he doesn’t let go of the handcuffs.

“I’m going to punch you in the face if you don’t let go of that handcuff right now,” the officer yelled, “It’s your last warning!”

The officer began punching and elbowing O’Brien in the temple, causing the suspect’s head to slam into the asphalt and bounce back up.

O’Brien stopped resisting, officers sat him on the curb with his hands cuffed behind his back while the officer who threw the punches appears to coddle his arm.

In the video, “SLO County Observer” reports the officer appears injured. The SLO Police Department call log also reports that injuries were sustained during the arrest. The SLO Police Department did not respond to questions about the incident.

Officers booked O’Brien into the SLO County Jail on a felony charge of resisting arrest regarding the incident on Sunday. He is also being held on charges of being under the influence, petty theft, theft of personal property and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors. He is being held in lieu of $665,000 bail.


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Niles Q

Didn’t look too excessive to me. People have a choice whether to comply or resist.

If you comply, you get to fight it in court. Hell, chances are they wouldn’t even make you post bail.

If you resist, you can expect to get thumped until you comply.

If you’re drunk or stoned and you resist, you can expect to get double-thumped until you comply.

This video doesn’t tell even half the story. Clearly there was a lot more that went on.

After all there are four cops and at least 2 cop cars on scene when the video starts. And the sergeant arrives towards the end.

I would also assume there’s a cop directing traffic who is out of the screen, so there are 5-6 total cops there.

So this video starts probably 10 or as much as 15 minutes after they contacted the suspect.

He’s already been questioned; his name run through the system; he’s been identified as someone with warrants; and was taken down and is being handcuffed when the video starts.

Some people have said the guy was drunk or on drugs, as if that’s excuses his behavior.

A cop once told me, “Voluntary intoxication is no excuse. And it’s not a defense either.”

It’s unfortunate he got thumped in the head, but I stop far short of calling this excessive force.


Murse

Did SLOPD later retaliate against the guy who filmed the encounter???



slocalgal

Seems he had outstanding warrants for his arrest from another county. He mentions Ventura in the video. Seems he was also caught with stolen property and was under the influence of drugs. I’ve had property stolen by transients and am fed up. When the stolen property has been recovered, they have lied. I have zero patience for criminals at this point.


He should have complied with the officer’s request. The officer is allowed to use force when a subject is resisting. It’s not pretty but it’s within the officer’s toolbag (better than pepper spray or taser) and did result in compliance.


Here’s what’s available on the arrest —

Charges:

69 PC (felony obstructing/resisting w/ threat of violence),

11150(A) HS (under the influence of controlled substances),

484A PC (theft of property under $950),

148(A)(1) PC (resisting arrest),

484(A)/490.5 PC (shoplifting, civil demand for damages),

and an unlisted violation.


JUSTIN MICHAEL OBRIEN

ID: 471413, BOOKING #: A00723060

PERSONAL INFORMATION

Sex: M, Age: 29, Hair: BRO, Eyes: BLU, Height: 511, Weight: 160


ARREST INFORMATION

Book Date: 07/17/2022, Book Time: 14:40:00, Projected Release Date:

CHARGES

Charge Bond # Arresting Agency Arrest Location

69 PC 1 SLPD SAN LUIS OBISPO

11550(A) HS 2 OTHR SAN LUIS OBISPO

484(A) PC 3 OTHR SAN LUIS OBISPO

UNLISTED 4 OTHR SAN LUIS OBISPO

148(A)(1) PC 5 OTHR SAN LUIS OBISPO

484(A)/490.5 PC 6 OTHR SAN LUIS OBISPO

BOND INFORMATION

Bond # Bond Amount

1 $25,000.00

2 $160,000.00

3 $160,000.00

4 $160,000.00

5 $160,000.00

TOTAL: $665,000.00


https://www.slosheriff.org/who_is_in_custody_details.php?id=471413&b=A00723060


Joe Blow

The officers used effective, non lethal means to subdue a criminal that was resisting arrest. Good work, guys!