Crime

SLO police release bodycam video showing officer breaking suspect’s arm

The San Luis Obispo Police Department released video on Thursday of a May arrest in which the suspect’s arm was broken.

According to a news release, two officers were dispatched to a 911 call on May 29 at the Chevron gas station at Higuera and Marsh streets regarding a man who allegedly stole property that day.

Police made contact with the man, found he had a local arrest warrant, and attempted to arrest him, the release said.

The man — identified in the video as Gregory Bratt, 28 — resisted and assaulted one of the officers, according to the release.

In the video, which includes footage from the officers’ body-worn cameras, or, bodycams, Bratt can be seen sitting on a low wall near the gas station.

When the officers, who Capt. Jeff Smith identified as Daniel Bravo and Marcelo Magana, attempt to arrest him, Bratt can be heard asking “Why am I getting arrested? What the f--- did I do?”

During an ensuing struggle, the officers repeatedly tell Bratt to put his hands behind his back, the video shows. That’s when Bratt’s arm broke, police said.

Once Bratt is handcuffed, the officers call for a medic, the video shows.

“You f---ing broke both my arms for no reason,” Bratt can be heard saying. “My hands were behind my back.”

Bratt was treated at a local hospital for a broken arm.

According to police, an internal review of the incident found that the use of force was justified.

Bratt has since been charged with resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and grand theft. He was being held Thursday at San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $70,000 bail.

San Luis Obispo police Chief Deanna Cantrell said in the video that the department published the records in response to a new law that took effect in January that requires agencies to release footage of use-of-force incidents that result in great bodily injury or death.

“Thankfully, officers in our department are rarely involved in these kinds of incidents,” Cantrell said in the video. “However, when we do have a critical incident that is related to the new disclosure of records, we want to share as much information with you as possible.”

She added: “We strongly believe its good for the community to have insight into our profession, and sharing information with you about a serious incident also makes for good policing.”

Staff Writer Matt Fountain contributed to this article.

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Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.
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