Long Beach Beating: Family Says Man Was Mentally Ill

The Long Beach beating remains a topic of controversy. Porfino Santos-Lopez, age 46, was recorded during a struggle with Long Beach police. The officers are accused of brutally beating, then tazing the man, while he laid on the ground.

Santos-Lopez’s family is now saying the man suffered from mental illness. Lee Ann Hernandez says her boyfriend displayed signs of paranoia in the weeks leading up to the arrest.

As reported by Los Angeles Times, Hernandez admits her boyfriend was behaving strangely. She says he complained of hearing voices and hallucinating. She believes the problems are related to alcoholism.

Despite his problems, Hernandez believes the police went to far.

As reported by ABC News, Santos-Lopez was involved in an altercation with a group of men outside a liquor store.

When authorities arrived on scene, Santos-Lopez resisted arrest. He struggled with the officers, eventually kicking one of their batons.

One of the officers used his taser on Santos-Lopez, who then fell to the ground. When he refused to turn onto his stomach, the officers repeatedly struck him with their batons and tazed him again.

Witnesses say Santos-Lopez had been drinking and using crystal meth.

Police Sargent Aaron Eaton admits that the Long Beach beating looks bad for the department. However, he says that he will “refrain from using that judgement on a first impression.”

Eaton explains that batons and tazers are only used when suspects refuse to cooperate and are combative. He says Santos-Lopez resisted arrest and refused to follow the officer’s orders.

Santos-Lopez is currently hospitalized for injuries sustained in the beating. Hernandez says he is suffering from numerous injuries, including a broken arm.

Upon his release from the hospital, Santos-Lopez will be taken into police custody.

The officers accused in the Long beach beating remain on active duty pending an internal investigation.

[Image via Flickr]