Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Evening Edition

Charges Dropped Against Black Man In Controversial Arrest In La Mesa

In body cam footage released by La Mesa Police Department, officers hold down 23-year-old Amaurie Johnson during his arrest near the Grossmont Trolley Station, May 27, 2020.
La Mesa Police Department
In body cam footage released by La Mesa Police Department, officers hold down 23-year-old Amaurie Johnson during his arrest near the Grossmont Trolley Station, May 27, 2020.

Late Friday, La Mesa police announced it has dropped all charges against a black man in a controversial arrest that was captured on video and widely circulated in social media.

La Mesa police Chief Walt Vasquez announced after a full review of the evidence, the police department will not pursue prosecution in the case of Amaurie Johnson, a 23-year-old black man arrested on May 27 at an apartment complex near the Grossmont Trolley Station.

After the arrest, a video of Johnson's interaction with police circulated on social media. Officer Matt Dages is shown shoving Johnson onto a public bench and arresting him on charges of assaulting and resisting a police officer.

Residents criticized the incident as an example of excessive force, wrongful arrest and police discrimination towards African Americans. Johnson's arrest also sparked a protest against La Mesa police Saturday.

Body camera footage released by the La Mesa Police Department on Wednesday revealed no other details about what occurred before the arrest. There appears to be no evidence of Johnson assaulting an officer on the body cam footage.