San Diego cop filmed punching homeless man while trying to arrest him

San Diego cop is filmed repeatedly punching homeless man and putting him in headlock while trying to arrest him for ‘peeing in public’

  • Jesse Evans was arrested May 12 after cops allegedly saw him urinating in public
  • Witness video shows a cop hitting Evans multiple times, including in the face
  • The video also seems to show a police walkie talkie being flung across the street 
  • The San Diego Police Department released bodycam footage on Friday
  • The footage shows the initial encounter with Evans, as well as police deliberating on whether or not to pursue him after he walks away
  • The footage also appears to show Evans throw a few punches of his own
  • An internal affairs investigation into the arrest is underway 
  • Evans was booked on suspicion of resisting arrest, as well as battery on a police officer – he was not booked for public urination

San Diego cops have shared bodycam footage showing a homeless man being punched by a police officer while he and his colleague arrested the vagrant for peeing in the street. 

Jesse Evans, 34, was arrested on May 12, with video quickly appearing from a witness who recorded a portion of the arrest. San Diego PD has since released its own bodycam footage from the encounter. 

The bystander video, which was also released by San Diego PD, appeared to show an officer putting the man in a headlock before punching him repeatedly in the face after he hit the ground. Police said Evans was punched while resisting arrest.

The second officer was filmed restraining Evans, but was not shown throwing any punches. At one point, a walkie talkie seemingly belonging to the cops gets flung across the street, likely by Evans.


After bystander video of a controversial arrest appeared, the San Diego Police Department released their own bodycam footage on Friday

Throughout the video, there are sporadic moments where the police punch Evans again in the leg. By the end of the video, there are at least eight cops responding to the incident.

In the bodycam footage released by the police on Friday, officers can be seen pursuing Evans after they allegedly saw him urinating in public around 4pm the day of his arrest, which isn’t shown on the video.

‘You can’t urinate in public, my man. People have to walk by here and watch you urinate? That’s not cool, man,’ an officer says.

After police tell Evans he can’t pee in public, he shouts ‘I’m going to p*** my pants’ and ‘Do you want me to p*** my pants?’ before yelling more and walking away.

The footage sees officers approach Jesse Evans, 34, after they believe to see him urinating

Evans tells officers he doesn’t want to pee his pants before beginning to walk away

‘Relax. Relax, boss,’ one officer says as Evans walks away. 

Officers decide that they’re going to further pursue the man and detain him for urinating in public.

‘Leave me the f*** alone,’ Evans says as the cops accuse him of resisting. It appears Evans may throw a few punches of his own, but only the officers’ initial punches are shown.

Throughout the arrest, police tell Evans to stop resisting while Evans continues to repeat that he needed to pee.

Much of the body camera footage is at such a tight angle that the arrest itself can be heard, but not seen.

Eventually, police catch up to Evans down the road and try to arrest the homeless man

Over the course of the arrest, Evans appears to throw at least one punch at an officer

As the struggle continues, another police officer arrives and says that he has Evans’ arm.

One of the two officers’ body cameras were deactivated during the arrest, only filming the aftermath of the arrest after it was picked up from the ground, without audio.

It is unclear why the device stopped working.  

The bodycam footage largely does not show the repeated punches to Evans, which the witness’ footage does. 

The two officers involved in the arrest haven’t been identified, but an internal affairs investigation into the arrest is underway.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the arresting officers were from the Neighborhood Policing Division, which is designed to help homeless people connect to services aimed at helping them. 

The San Diego Police Department said Evans ‘would not stop to speak with officers therefore an officer held the man to detain him’ after the arrest

The San Diego Police Department said Evans ‘would not stop to speak with officers therefore an officer held the man to detain him’ after the arrest.

‘Despite the officers repeatedly telling the man to ‘stop resisting,’ the man would not comply,’ the SDPD added.

In a press conference after his arrest, Evans admitted to unclasping his pants to pee, but didn’t even have a chance before officers arrived. 

As a result, Evans was not charged with public urination. 

‘I hope I’m the last victim of such nonsense,’ Evans said during his press conference, according to 10News.

‘I hope that we can hire reasonable individuals to look out for us and protect and serve our greater good in a better way, represent us in a better way as a community, as a nation,’ he continued.

After being taken to the hospital for evaluation, Evans was booked on suspicion of resisting arrest, as well as battery on a police officer. 

Witness video showed officers repeatedly punch Evans, though that isn’t clear in the police video

The Times of San Diego reports that the People’s Association of Justice Advocate has hired an attorney to represent Evans.

Meanwhile, calls for accountability of the police from the community continued after the bodycam footage’s release.

‘The SDPD has a de-escalation policy that requires you to use time and space to defuse a situation, rather than immediately move to force,’ Francine Maxwell, president of the San Diego NAACP branch, wrote in a letter to Police Chief David Nisleit.

‘It seems to us that there was ample space to de-escalate. Why didn’t they? We want to know if this is how the SDPD envisions de-escalation. Did it really require eight police officers to subdue this barefoot homeless man?’

After being taken to the hospital for evaluation, Evans was booked on suspicion of resisting arrest, as well as battery on a police officer

Homeless advocate Michael McConnell also called out the police.

‘Jesse Evans is a perfect example of why police should not be on the front lines of [the homelessness] issue,’ he told the Union-Tribune.

‘I think when he repeatedly asked the officers, ‘What is wrong with you?’ that sums it up — what is wrong with San Diego police? It’s not just those officers, we’ve seen this mistreatment for years.’

A GoFundMe to raise money for legal fees and an emergency hotel stay for Evans has raised almost $10,000 as of Saturday morning.

There’s no timeline for when the internal investigation into the police conduct from the arrest will be completed. 

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