Man with down syndrome maced, beaten by sheriff’s deputy

January 8, 2013

An outraged North County family has contacted the media about the recent attack on their mentally disabled son. The 21-year-old Antonio Martinez was walking to his parents’ bakery around 8 p.m. when he was stopped, pepper-sprayed and beaten by a San Diego sheriff’s deputy.

Melissa Mejia, who works in a nearby shop, was the witness of the assault. She got out of the shop when she heard the commotion, and saw Martinez covering his eyes and lying on the floor while the cop was yelling at him and hitting him with a baton. Mejia ran to the bakery to alarm Martinez’ family and came back, trying to stop the cop.

“He has Down syndrome. Stop you know, it’s wrong,” she yelled at him. “He wouldn’t stop, he kept going.”

The reporters from 10News have interviewed the Martinez family who showed the bruises on their son’s face and body. The assault left him visibly shaken.

Apparently the police were looking for the suspect of a domestic violence dispute in the area. Martinez raised suspicion when he put the hood of his sweatshirt over his head while walking by the deputy. When he didn’t stop after being told to, he got pepper sprayed and knocked to the ground.

Sheriff’s Department Captain Joe Rodi visited the Martinez family to apologize and admit their mistake.

Source

An apology is not enough. This kind of brutality is unacceptable & always targets communities of color. The sheriff deputy who did this must be reprimanded.
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