The incident has divided the residents of Bishop, a city near the Nevada border
George Barlow, III, Paiute is now in an intensive care unit in a hospital after police brutally beat him around 2am outside a closed gas station on the Bishop Paiute Reservation, reports said.
Police said they had received a call about a violation of a restraining order from an apartment complex and that when the officers arrived, they allegedly found Mr Barlow “yelling.”
Reports said that instead of finding the person who had called 911, the police officers “tased, pepper-sprayed and beat” the Native American man and killed his dog.
The disturbing incident — captured on bodycam footage that was released by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office on Monday — has led to acrimony between the residents in Bishop, a city near the Nevada border.
The police statement said: “While looking in the area, the deputies noticed a male subject across the street at the Chevron station, which was closed; the subject was agitated and yelling.”
The officials claimed Mr Barlow “charged at a deputy, refused to follow commands, and grabbed one deputy’s baton.” All this is also seen in the body cam footage. But the police say that the Indigenous man’s dog, a pit bull, was shot after he ordered it to attack the officers. Egter, none of this can be seen or overheard in the video footage.
The police have charged Mr Barlow with crimes including obstruction and resisting officers, threatening criminal intent, assault with a deadly weapon non-firearm, violation of parole, and battery on a peace officer.
Thomas Hardy, the Inyo County District Attorney was quoted by the Daily Beast as saying that the charges against Mr Barlow have not been referred to his office. “It’s my understanding that the sheriff has an active investigation into Mr Barlow, but it has not been referred over.”
Hy, egter, added that he has received a number of emails from the residents demanding accountability. Hy het gesê: “It’s more important to be thorough and accurate than to be fast. That being said, I hope we will have it wrapped up in a few weeks instead of a few months.”
Mr Barlow’s family and supporters said the incident is another reminder of what they view as law enforcement’s brutal treatment of Indigenous residents.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Ciera Heavy Runner, a cousin of Mr Barlow, gesê: “This has not only been extremely devastating to George’s loved ones, but it has devastated our entire tribal community. This situation weighs so heavy on the hearts of so many people in our community.”
Sy het bygevoeg: “Many people do not currently feel safe on our own reservation and unfortunately, the ICSO is who we have to call on in an emergency.”
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for Mr Barlow. One relative wrote that he “did not deserve to be brutalised like this, nobody does.” The fundraising site has so far raised about $25,000 for his medical bills and lawyer fees.
Lina Sandoval, one of Mr Barlow’s childhood friends said he is “the biggest teddy bear who had a smile on his face regardless of what heartbreak he was going through, including the loss of his mother.”
Sy het bygevoeg: “Despite his big size, he’s not aggressive. That’s why this is so shocking and disappointing.”
Intussen, in a video of the incident posted on social media by a bystander, Mr Barlow can be seen on the ground while officers kick him as he appears to grip one of their batons. One of the deputies is heard saying: “I am gonna shoot your dog.”
Maar, reports said that the footage did not clearly capture the dog biting the deputies even though the officers said that they “suffered dog bites.”