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Power-crazed prison officer punched man whose hands were cuffed behind his back

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A prison offer was charged with battery after he was filmed viciously attacking a drunk whose hands were cuffed behind his back.

Matthew Mettler faces a misdemeanor charge over the footage, filmed last August, showing him approaching the suspect at San Joaquin County Jail in California.

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Even though the man – arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly – is also sat on the floor, wearing a spit-hood and posing no apparent threat, Mettler slaps him hard.

The impact of the blow sends the man sideways, while two colleagues look on.

Power-crazed prison officer punched man whose hands were cuffed behind his back
Matthew Mettler enters the holding pen, where the suspect has his hands and legs cuffed, and is sitting on the floor wearing a spit hood (San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office/YouTube)
Power-crazed prison officer punched man whose hands were cuffed behind his back
He approaches the suspect as two colleagues look on (San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office/YouTube)

A post on the Sheriff’s department Facebook page concedes ‘The detainee was sitting, legs and arms cuffed, and apparently posing no threat.’

Afterwards, Sheriff Steve Moore condemned the violence, saying: ‘As Sheriff, I don’t condone the actions as portrayed on this video by our jail staff.

‘It is inconsistent with the professionalism of San Joaquin County correctional officers, and of this department.

‘The action taken by the DA’s office is appropriate and we support their position.’

District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar also condemned the apparent assault, saying: ‘This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Power-crazed prison officer punched man whose hands were cuffed behind his back
Mettler strikes the suspect for no apparent reason… (San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office/YouTube)
Power-crazed prison officer punched man whose hands were cuffed behind his back
…and with such force that the man falls sideways (San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office/YouTube)

‘Individuals who abuse their power and position will be tried and punished to the full extent of the law.’Defense Attorney Johnny Griffin explained to KCRA3 that there needs to be a ‘legal or lawful necessity’ for an official to touch or physically harm someone in custody.Mettler was reported by two police officers who witnessed what he did.He will appear at San Joaquin County Court on March 26 for a motion hearing, and has since been placed on administrative leave.

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