PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Lawyers for a 45-year-old man accused of drunk bicycle riding in 2018 are sharing video of an assault inside the Washington County Jail shortly after his arrest.
Albert Molina was arrested on March 30, 2018 and taken to the jail where he was searched by deputy Rian Alden. Video from the jail shows Alden attacking Molina while standing at a backdrop to have his booking photo taken.
There is no audio on the video, but it shows Alden searching him and even removing his socks. At one point, Molina appears to salute Alden after he stepped away. He is seen complaining to other deputies and then rushing at Molina, slamming him to the wall and then the ground.
Other deputies calmly walk around as medical staff come to treat Molina and take him on a gurney. His lawyers say he sustained skull fractures, brain bleeds and spent 19 days in the hospital. His medical bills cost $130,000.
According to the Oregonian, Molina’s initial lawsuit seeking damages was denied because the Washington County District Attorney said the use of force was justified. They have now agreed to resubmit the case to a grand jury, where Molina’s lawyers would like Alden to be charged with Assault II.
Also last week, Deputy Alden was charged with a misdemeanor in relation to a “racist email.”
In a statement to KOIN 6 News, Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett said his department has reviewed an independent, outside criminal investigation, which was also reviewed by the county’s district attorney; both entities found that wasn’t “sufficient evidence” of a crime or a policy violation.
“This video is difficult to watch, particularly given the recent events and the national focus on law enforcement use of force,” Garrett said, adding, “Although the investigation found no misconduct at the time, we recognized we need to do better and implemented additional scenario training stressing de-escalation and verbal skills.”
Garrett continued to say the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is “keenly aware” of the agency’s need to constantly “improve and evaluate” its tactics, especially use of force.
“The public bestows a tremendous amount of power and trust in law enforcement, and we must earn that trust every day,” the sheriff wrote. “The past two weeks make it clear that the public demands change and accountability from law enforcement agencies.”