Attorneys to File Lawsuit Against Fresno Police Department

By Nicole Garcia and Winston Whitehurst

The homeless man, at the center of a violent arrest caught on tape, made his first appearance in court Monday.

Glen Beaty's attorneys will be fighting the case in criminal and civil court.

The video showing Fresno police officers arresting 52-year-old Beaty on February 9th, shocked the Fresno community.

Now Beaty's attorneys are calling for changes within the department.

Beaty no longer bears the cuts and bruises on his face from his violent arrest, but attorneys say the incident leaves a scar on the city.

"I think it shows a bigger problem in Fresno in that they have a conscious disregard for the rights of the mentally ill, and a conscious disregard for the rights of the homeless," said Russell Cook, one of Beaty's attorneys.

Beaty was scheduled to answer to two previous charges unrelated to his recent altercation with police.

He's facing a misdemeanor for violating a court order, a felony for threatening officers in a 2004 incident, and violating his probation.

He's facing up to 3 years in prison, but his attorney doubts he'll serve that.

"Mr. Beaty has serious mental health issues. We're going to be examining those issues and how they played a part in his prior plea in his prior case," said Peter Kapetan.

Both attorneys are planning to file a civil lawsuit against the Fresno Police Department based on the video of the violent arrest.

"I'm really concerned we're starting to see a pattern of Fresno police officers conducting themselves, using way too much force, violating people's constitutional rights. It's our position the department has long known about this and turned the other way, and is actually encouraging this type of behavior," said Kapetan.

Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer is asking the public not to rush to judgment.

They are conducting an internal investigation.

The Fresno County District Attorney's office and the State Attorney General's office are investigating the incident.

No charges against Beaty or the officers have been filed as a result of this recent arrest.

The civil lawsuit is expected to be filed within the next couple of weeks.

Beaty is scheduled to be arraigned next Monday.