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New Year's arrest leads to Rocklin PD internal investigation

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A YouTube video of a man’s arrest has led to a Rocklin Police investigation.
The video shows a Rocklin Police officer striking a man numerous times with a baton during an altercation at the Rocklin Mercedes Benz dealerships’ New Year’s Eve party.
Rocklin Police were called the scene to assist the Rocklin Fire Department with an overcrowded elevator, which stuck between the first and second floors, Rocklin Police Lt. Lon Milka said. That’s when a Rocklin officer saw a man push a woman. According to Milka, the officer asked the male subject to step outside, but he refused.
Milka said the subject then went to the ground with his hands at his stomach, resisting the officer. In what Milka said is called a “distraction technique,” the officer hit the subject with a baton approximately four times until they were able to handcuff him.
Milka said the method is practiced if a subject resists an officer.
“A citizen has an obligation to submit to an officer’s request,” Milka said.
According to the police report, the subject, who was identified as Citrus Heights resident John Edwards Banks, was told several times to put his hands behind his back. Banks refused and a struggle ensued, according to the report.
During the five-minute video, shouts of “oh my gosh” and “abuse” can be heard from people in the crowd while the officer struck Banks. One man is seen trying to come between Banks and officers.
Because of a citizen complaint relating to the incident, the Rocklin Police Department is conducting an internal investigation. Milka said it’s common practice to review any incident involving the use of force. Milka said a review of force used during the incident is currently underway.
Several people commented on the YouTube video calling the incident “police brutality,” while other commenters say it appeared that Banks was resisting arrest.
Banks was arrested on charges of resisting arrest and domestic violence, Milka said. Banks’ girlfriend, Valaree Belle, who is identified as the woman who the officer saw Banks push, was also arrested on charges of battery on a peace officer and delaying an officer arrest. According to the report, as officers were taking Banks into custody, Belle attempted to pull officers off of Banks.
The YouTube video can be seen at http://ht.ly/3xCdv.  
~Lauren Gibbs