Punches to the ribs of 22-year-old Corey Galavis, a police technique known as compliance strikes used to get a person handcuffed, were justified the Corpus Christi Police Department said Monday in response to accusations of police brutality from people on social media who shared video of the arrest.
“You have an officer who was attempting to arrest an individual who doesn’t want to be arrested,” CCPD Deputy Chief Billy Breedlove said. “So he uses force to arrest the individual.”
The arrest came after an officer said he found Galavis in the middle of Staples Street at Park Avenue outside a bar at 2:00 a.m. Thursday. The officer says he was concerned about Galavis’s safety and then realized he was drunk.
“We have had way too many pedestrian fatalities,” Breedlove said. “So rightfully so, the officer goes back and checks on him. Once he begins to interview him he realizes he’s intoxicated.”
Galavis denies drinking that night, and he says he was only in the street to walk to his Uber for the ride home.
“All of a sudden he just grabbed me,” Galavis says of the arresting officer. ” He threw me on the floor, and tried getting my hands. The whole time I’m asking, ‘why? Why are you taking me to jail?”
Breedlove says you can hear the officer explaining to Galavis that he was arresting him because he was drunk. He says the officer was just doing what he had to do to get Galavis in handcuffs and off to jail.
“When people see video of use of force by police, it’s not pretty,” Breedlove said. “But, we have to do that in some cases.”
Galavis says he has scrapes from his face rubbing the pavement while pinned down by the officer. He also says his ribs are bruised making it hurt to cough and take deep breaths.
“I’m still in pain, and I’m going to be in pain for awhile,” Galavis said.
Police charged Galavis with public intoxication and resisting arrest. They say they could have charged him with a felony, because they have video of Galavis kicking a police officer in the face while officers put him in a patrol car.