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City Council questions EPPD’s handling of homeless man’s ‘forceful’ arrest caught on video

Manuel Luna
KVIA
Homeless El Pasoan Manuel Luna aka "Shorty."

UPDATE, Sept. 29: Questions arose at this week's El Paso City Council meeting about an interaction between police and a homeless man that went viral more than a week ago.

Manuel "Shorty" Luna says he suffered a seizure while being arrested by police in downtown El Paso.

Several city council members questioned why an official response from EPPD took multiple days, saying the department “does not build trust within the community.”

Assistant Police Chief Peter Pacillas told council that any case of police force goes to internal affairs for review - and the department has up to 180 days to complete an investigation.

City representatives asked Pacillas to bring an update to council once the investigation has been completed.

ORIGINAL REPORT, Sept. 18: EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso police said Saturday they were reviewing an incident caught on video and posted to social media that shows officers arresting a homeless man in what some observers contend was an excessive use of force.

ABC-7 tracked down the homeless man named Manuel Luna, affectionately known to some in downtown El Paso as "Shorty." Luna said Saturday afternoon that he was still recovering from injuries he sustained during the "forceful" arrest.

He said Friday's situation was sparked when he danced in the street and ignored a call by parking meter readers to get out of the road; they called police who responded and arrested him.

Luna claims he suffered a seizure when officers arrived, which he said may have made it appear that he was resisting arrest - although he maintains he wasn't. The video shows officers subduing Luna and placing him in handcuffs.

Luna said he is both disabled and schizophrenic. Once arrested, he indicated he was taken to a hospital for treatment before being booked at the jail and then released.

Luna told ABC-7 that he doesn't know exactly why he was arrested - or what he's actually charged with. He said he feels emotionally traumatized and accuses the downtown meter readers of routinely harassing him.

“Who sparked it up was the meter people. The meters have always been picking on me - they have called the cops on me and I told the cops to tell them to quit bugging,” he said.

An EPPD spokesman said the department was "aware of the video and is reviewing the incident." He added, "No further information will be available as this incident is being reviewed."

An online search of El Paso County jail records by ABC-7 failed to turn up any details on Luna's arrest.

Rosemary Montanez

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Comments

24 Comments

  1. When you have to deal with a vagrant like this, you are usually dealing with his mental issues and drug use. They can get extremely violent. I have had to deal with more than my fair share of them.

    1. Are you a medic now charliar? Cause cops are not. Luna, a caca brown hispanic, was violent, delirious and did not let the cops help him. But you can go pick him up and put him in your section 8 housing.

  2. TOSS THEM A FRACTION OF TORTILLA. LOL. OH, WAIT! OH WAIT! BUT THEM WHITES FLY THAT FLAG HIGH AND PROUD. LOL. UUUMERICA FIRST! BUT NOT ONE IN SIGHT PICKING UP THEIR WHITE GARBAGE. LOL

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