November 12 incident to begins after man refuses to leave private residence
By Dolores Quintana
A video circulating on social media shows Santa Monica police officers violently detaining a 29-year-old man believed to be homeless.
User Mindy0047 posted a video on TikTok that showed two Santa Monica Police Department officers struggling with a man on the ground and then striking him on the head while the man yelled for help. The suspect claimed that his leg was broken after the officer struck the man on the leg with his baton. This video sparked public interest in the actions of the SMPD.
Police were called to an apartment building on Ocean Avenue on Saturday, November 12 around 5:50 p.m. by a security guard at the complex, according to the the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD)
Lieutenant Rudy Flores said via an emailed statement, “the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) was dispatched to a multi-family complex in the 1400 block of Ocean Avenue regarding a male who was being disruptive and refused to leave the property multiple times. The reporting party was a security officer at the complex. When SMPD Officers arrived on scene, they met with the security officer who directed them to the subject, later identified as Aren Kehind Taylor, a 29-year-old male believed to be homeless. The security officer told SMPD that Taylor threatened and tried to fight him.”
According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Inmate Information Center, Taylor is a 27-year-old Black man.
Flores went on to discuss the period previous to the filmed incident, saying “SMPD Officers made contact with Taylor. During the contact, Taylor attempted to walk past the officers and back into the property. Taylor approached the officers in an aggressive manner and spat at one of the officer’s face before throwing a cup with liquid, striking the officer on his chest and taking a fighting stance.”
Flores added, “As the officers took Taylor into custody, his resistance took them to the ground where Taylor kicked and struck the officers with his hands. While on the ground Taylor continued to flail his arms and feet, kicking and striking the officers with his hands. Their commands and attempts to take him into custody or even control him were ineffective. Taylor continued to resist, and at one point was proactively holding onto an officer’s arm. In an attempt to overcome Taylor’s resistance, an officer punched Taylor in the head then struck him in his legs with his baton. Officers were becoming fatigued and opted to pin Taylor down until additional officers arrived and were able to help take him into custody.”
Taylor was transported to the SMPD jail where he was booked for trespassing, assault on a peace officer and felony resisting arrest.
“Taylor did not have any visible injuries and refused medical attention,” Flores said.
SMPD personnel documented Taylor’s condition which included photographs before booking him into custody.
“Officers filled out a detailed Use of Force report, documenting their actions, which will be thoroughly reviewed by the Incident Review Board,” Flores said.
Taylor is still in the custody of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and is being held under a misdemeanor charge on $35,000 bail at a Los Angeles County facility. He is due to be in court on the charges on November 29.
The Santa Monica Mirror has asked the SMPD for body camera footage of the incident and were instructed to file a public records request. A request has been filed. This article will be updated if the footage is received.