LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles police officer who was seen on video repeatedly striking a trespassing suspect in Boyle Heights in late April was charged Tuesday with assaulting the 28-year-old man, the district attorney announced.
Officer Frank Hernandez, 49, was charged with a felony count of assault under color of authority. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore's first reaction to video:
In response to the news of the charges, the department said Hernandez has been stripped of all police powers and has been assigned home.
District Attorney Jackie Lacey said, "In this case, we believe the force was neither legally necessary or reasonable.''
“This is a disturbing case of the illegal use of force at the hands of a police officer,” her statement continued.
Following news of the charges, LAPD Chief Michel Moore released a statement saying, “The department has taken this matter very seriously from day-one and he will be held accountable for his actions."
On April 27, Hernandez and his partner, another Hollenbeck Division officer, responded to a call of a trespasser in a vacant lot in Boyle Heights. During a confrontation between police and the victim, Hernandez is accused of illegally punching the unarmed man more than a dozen times in the head, neck and body.
District Attorney representatives worked closely with LAPD detectives who investigated the matter.
The case was presented to Lacey's office for filing consideration on June 2.
If convicted, Hernandez faces a possible maximum sentence of three years in county jail.
The case is being prosecuted by deputy district attorneys assigned to the office’s Justice System Integrity Division, which prosecutes crimes committed by law enforcement officers, judges, attorneys, and other members of the justice system.
FOX 11's Shelly Insheiwat contributed