Mesa Residents Protest Police Brutality

Published: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 1:31am
Updated: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 2:37pm
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(Photo by Jimmy Jenkins - KJZZ)
Jason Michael Barton shows supporters where he was stopped for jaywalking in Mesa

Protesters took to streets of Mesa on Thursday night to march in solidarity with a man who says he was assaulted by the police.

Cellphone video taken by a passerby of Jason Michael Barton’s June 19 arrest has prompted accusations of police brutality in Mesa.

Body-camera footage released by Mesa Police shows Barton being taken down, punched and kneed by an officer after he was stopped for jaywalking. Police say Barton ran, which justified the use of force.

Thursday night, Barton led about 25 people from the Mesa Police Department down main street to Extension Road. Protesters briefly blocked the intersection wherea Barton was arrested for jaywalking. The group called for the firing of the officers involved in the arrest.

Jerry from Mesa didn’t want to give his last name out of fear of retribution. He walked in solidarity with Barton because he said he’s experienced police brutality first hand.

"Look, I’m a white, 80-year-old fart, you know? I’m not black — they didn’t pick on me because of my color," said Jerry.

He said police were rough with him during an arrest because they knew they could get away with it.

Mesa police say they are conducting an internal investigation of the Barton arrest. The two officers involved are still working patrol.

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