Two New Orleans police officers were arrested following an off-duty fight that sent a badly beaten civilian to the hospital Tuesday.
Rookie officers John Galman, 26, and Spencer Sutton, 24, recent graduates of the police training academy on a required probationary period, were booked on simple battery in connection to the attack.
NOPD has also begun the process of firing them, The Advocate reported.
Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said investigators found that the pair of officers instigated the attack on George Gomez, 36.
“Members of our department are expected to comply with the law and adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct, whether on- or off-duty,” Harrison said in a statement.
The Public Integrity Bureau conducted a swift investigation into the matter leading the NOPD to arrest the officers and begin the process of terminating them.
Gomez was released from the hospital Tuesday with cuts, bruises and a swollen face.
He delivered his account of the events that unfolded, saying that neither officer identified themselves as members of the NOPD when they crossed paths at the Mid-City Yacht Club.
Gomez, who is Hispanic, claims the white officers’ attack on him was racially motivated.
“He asked me if I was American. I told him yes, and he got mad because he said I was fake,” Gomez said, according to the Advocate.
Gomez, dressed in a camouflage outfit, said he was asked if he had served in the military and confirmed that he had been a member of the Louisiana National Guard.
Gomez told WWL-TV that he was trying to get into his truck when the officers stood in front of his vehicle and assaulted him.
The other men delivered a different narrative of how the events unfolded, claiming Gomez trailed them in his vehicle, before threatening them. The officers claim they fought back in self-defense.
Gomez says he is seeking an apology from the men, who were shown to be the aggressors.
“I would like them to apologize to me. They never told me they were police officers.”
The Mid-City Yahct Club released the following statement in support of Gomez:
“Mr. Gomez is our long-time customer and friend and we are very sickened that this has happened to him. The MCYC family is extremely concerned. We will plan a fundraiser, as long as it is with Mr Gomez blessing, to help raise money to support Mr. Gomez during this difficult time.”
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