Video surfaced this Memorial Day weekend showing police officers wrapping their arms around the neck of a 71-year-old Vietnam veteran and tackling him to the ground before handcuffing him inside a Veterans Administration clinic in El Paso.
His crime: He allegedly walked through a metal detector without first showing identification while having something on (or in) him that set the alarm off.
However, Jose Oliva said he placed his identification into the bucket with the rest of his belongings that were in his pocket to be screened.
And even if he didn’t, there was no need to abuse him as they did.
However, the VA police officers were found to have done nothing wrong, according to the Office of Security and Law Enforcement (OS&LE) and Law Enforcement Training Center, which oversees VA police.
But the video does not lie. Oliva did nothing to deserve the violent treatment he received from police, who ended up dragging him into a back room and citing him for disorderly conduct.
The incident took place in February but Oliva, who has filed a lawsuit, just obtained the video and shared it with KVIA-TV, which stated the following:
Oliva says he was stunned, he was scared and hurt. The guards, employed by the VA and considered the clinic’s police, cuff him, and take him to a side room where questioning continues. All the while, Oliva says he doesn’t understand why he’s being treated so aggressively in the very place where he seeks care.
“I’ve seen my psychiatrist three times, and he told me my PTSD treatment that he started with me over a year ago just got shot,” Oliva said.
The VA guards ended up giving Oliva a citation for disorderly conduct. ABC-7 reached out to the VA for their side of the story. They tell us:
“After the incident on February 16, 2016, the officers involved were interviewed and videotapes of the incident were reviewed by representatives from the Office of Security and Law Enforcement (OS&LE) and Law Enforcement Training Center….The investigators found that the charge of excessive use of force leveled by the Veteran could not be substantiated. Our Police Service takes seriously its role to safeguard our Veterans, family members, volunteers and employees while they are on our campus. Our officers’ focus is to promote a safe and secure environment and prevent criminal activity.”
The VA says it requires all its officers to go through eight weeks of training to prepare them to deal with any situation that may arise.
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Contributed by Carlos Miller of Photography Is Not a Crime.