MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Prosecutors have dropped charges against an Arizona man whose beating by Mesa police last month was caught on camera.
An attorney for 33-year-old Robert Johnson said Thursday that Mesa City Court dismissed charges of disorderly conduct and hindering prosecution.
Apartment complex surveillance camera video from May 23 shows Johnson standing against a wall looking at his phone when officers quickly punch him numerous times.
They then pull him to the ground and flip him over.
Officers were responding to reports of another man breaking into his ex-girlfriend's apartment.
Mesa Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The dismissal comes the same day an attorney for a suspect in a January arrest shared police body camera video of Mesa officers punching and mocking the man as he lay wounded.
While Johnson's charges were dropped, his attorney Benjamin Taylor says the legal battle isn't over. Taylor said they are exploring all legal options, and would also like to see a fair investigation into the offices, and see them fired as well.
Johnson's attorney and others involved in the case say this is a big step in the right direction, but since Johnson's video emerge, two others of similar incidents have surfaced, and community leaders say something has to be done.
"It just shows that there is an issue, and there is something that we've been speaking to, a culture issue with the Mesa Police Department," said Pastor Andre Miller, who is now pushing to have a civilian oversight committee within Mesa, where he says there is a serious distrust between community and police.
"Give citizens an actual voice in the police department," said Miller. "They would help conduct investigations. They would have subpoena powers, and it would give citizens a feeling that they have a voice in the police department to handle citizen complaints."
The committee would consist of commissioners who can take and look into complaints against police officers, rather than citizens taking it to the police department.
"It goes straight to the commissioners. They review bodycam footage, they review your complaint, they'll review whatever the police report says, and they'll begin to pass a a judgment on what the facts actually are," said Miller.
It'll take a lot for this to really be implemented. Either the City Council will support the idea and do an amendment for the charter, which will go to the voters, or Miller and his team have to gather 8,000 signatures to go on the ballot for 2020.