The actions of a county sheriff in Oregon are under review after an officer was filmed striking a homeless man in the head with dozens of punches.
The Marion County Sheriff’s office told The Oregonian that deputies “were left with no choice but to” arrest Kevin Straw, 28, because he was interfering with their search for missing people.
A statement from the sheriff’s office said the officers’ use of force occurred while Straw was physically resisting near the post office in Detroit, Oregon on Monday.
The incident was caught on camera by a photographer for local news station KGW who was covering the search for missing people. The footage shows three officers on top of Straw, who is homeless, while the fourth officer begins to punch him in the head. Straw can be heard yelling for help and that he isn’t resisting while the unidentified officer continues to strike him.
The Marion County’s district attorney’s office will review the footage, according to the sheriff’s office. Straw will reportedly receive a mental health evaluation and likely face charges for “interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest.”
The National Coalition for the Homeless pointed to the “correlation between the appearance of laws criminalizing homelessness, and the increase of hate crimes or violent acts against homeless people” in 2016.
The Oregon beating is far from the only incident of police brutality against a homeless person caught on tape in recent years.
In July, an offer in DeKalb County, Georgia was placed under investigation after he was filmed striking a homeless woman with his baton numerous times while arresting her for panhandling. In January, the Los Angeles Times published videos of the shooting of a homeless man that the Los Angeles Police Department had suppressed for three years. The officers in that incident were cleared of any wrongdoing by prosecutors. In November, two officers from Shelton, Washington were fired, but escaped criminal charges after their brutal beating of a homeless man was captured on camera.