Merced, CA - Video showing the aftermath of an attack on police officers sparked protests at UC-Merced, with protesters demanding the release of the suspects (video below.)
The initial incident happened early July 9 when officers went to Chandelier’s Hookah Lounge & Smoke Shop on Main Street to look for a suspect who had a felony robbery warrant.
While in the club, the officers found the wanted man and went in to arrest him.
“That’s when the officer was blind-sided, punched in the face,” Captain Chris Goodwin said. “Several people punched officers and our guys became surrounded by the crowd.”
One of the officers was seriously injured with "serious" facial and head injuries. That officer needed to be hospitalized for his injuries but has since been released. He is expected to be unable to return to work for some time due to the extent of his injuries, according to the Sun-Star.
After the attack, other officers arrived as backup and confronted the hostile crowd. That's where the video starts.
At one point, an officer with a 40mm launcher can be seen deploying the less-lethal weapon at a male who was shoving another officer.
A total of five people were arrested. The initial wanted person was able to escape.
Protesters are now demanding that all charges be dropped against everybody who was arrested, because they claim that it's the officers' fault that they were assaulted.
UC-Merced Assistant Professor Kit Myers even wrote an opinion piece with the headline, "Merced police responsible for creating the violence at Merced’s Hookah Lounge"
DA Larry Morse said that they are holding off on charging any of the suspects for now.
“We know there’s a great deal of interest and concern and emotion involved in this case,” Morse told the Sun-Star. “There’s no timetable for making a filing decision. The last thing anyone wants is a hurried decision. We’ll make the determination after giving all the evidence and statements the consideration they merit and after all the facts and evidence has been reviewed thoroughly.”
You can see the video of the incident aftermath below. NOTE - The video starts after the officers were beaten and pulled out: