Video posted on social media showing McFarland Police beating a man on the ground with a baton on Sunday is sparking concern online.
The clip posted on multiple social media platforms shows officers trying to arrest a man in the parking lot of a McDonald’s.
According to the McFarland Police Department, on Sunday, Nov. 26, at around 3:23 p.m., officers responded to the area for a report of hundreds of vehicles and people driving recklessly at Lake Woollomes near Delano.
The drivers then went to Walmart in Delano, located at 530 Woollomes Avenue, and allegedly then moved to the area from Browning Road and Pond Road, near McFarland for a takeover.
KCSO’s Air One Unit (helicopter) assisted McFarland officers to disperse the vehicles.
As vehicles fled the parking lot, some of the people allegedly began to throw glass bottles and vandalize several patrol vehicles, said officials.
One person allegedly pointed a laser from a firearm at the KSCO helicopter during the takeover, said MPD.
Details of the assault
Shortly later, MPD received a report of several people fighting at the McDonald’s, located at 101 Sherwood Avenue.
Officers said they saw over 50 people inside the restaurant, and numerous vehicles and people in the parking lot, as well.
Officers tried to detain people who were involved in the fight, but two of the people refused commands, said MPD.
Officials said officers attempted to de-escalate the situation but it didn’t work.
Both suspects ran from the officers toward the parking lot and resisted arrest, according to officials.
Police beating homeless man
One officer is seen using his baton, striking the man multiple times on the body, including his leg.
Officials said he was resisting arrest while officers struggled to take him into custody on the ground.
A bystander who was recording video of the incident is heard arguing back and forth with the officer who has the baton in his hand.
MPD confirmed they used less-than-lethal weapons, control holds, and takedown techniques to take the man into custody.
Family members of the man being beaten tell Eyewitness News the man on the ground is Francisco Joaquin, 21, of Fresno.
Officials stated that Joaquin is a documented Fresno gang member and a convicted felon.
Joaquin was reportedly attending a car show with his girlfriend in the area prior to the altercation with police. His girlfriend was identified as Anjanette Garcia, 22, was also arrested.
Police Department under investigation
Joaquin’s family claims that officers used excessive force on Joaquin and are currently speaking with lawyers on the next steps.
He was arrested and booked inside the Kern County jail on several firearms charges.
Joaquin was searched by officers who found an alleged loaded semi-automatic firearm with an illegal extended magazine.
Garcia was booked into the Lerdo Justice Facility Center. She was not injured, said MPD.
‘It’s obvious that it just does not look good at how it came out but officer safety is always at the forefront of these actions and based on what I observed and what I see, I don’t see it as an issue but again, I wasn’t there at the scene,’ said criminal justice professor at Bakersfield College, Dr. Tommy Tunson.
Tunson, who’s also the former police chief in Arvin, said there’s a growing concern for the community trusting the McFarland Police Department.
‘It’s just like with Rodney King when George Holliday took that video,’ Tunson said. ‘This is going to have an impact the same way.’
Joaquin is expected to appear in court Tuesday morning for his arraignment.