The Compton branch of the NAACP called for the Sheriff’s Department to prioritize an investigation into a violent arrest that left a 29-year-old mentally ill man with “massive permanent injuries.”
Barry Montgomery, who suffers from paranoia schizophrenia, was handcuffed and brutally beaten by a group of 20 deputies as he played basketball at a park in Willowbrook in July.
Montgomery sustained seven broken ribs, facial fractures, a broken orbital bone and multiple injuries from use of a baton and Taser, according to the NAACP’s Compton branch, which called the news conference alongside the family and the family’s attorney, Martin Kaufman.
Montgomery’s mother described “puddles of blood” left by the July 14 arrest at Enterprise Park, saying her son was still in pain. He played basketball at the park every night for more than 10 years, family members said.
“They beat him for no reason because he didn’t respond? He does not respond. He does not talk,” Ty Ellis, Montgomery’s sister said. “It’s not right. It’s injustice. … We need them to investigate these officers.”
At a news conference on Wednesday at City Hall, Montgomery’s family, along with the support of local organizers, said his arrest was part of a pattern of violence seen in the city. “These kind of injustices continue to happen. It’s not just one instance,” said Compton NAACP President Paulette Gipson. “It’s like it’s open season on our young men. And it has to stop.”
Reconstructive surgery will be needed to fix Montgomery’s broken eye socket. Montgomery allegedly attempted “by means of threats and violence” to deter Alcala Diaz from his duty and resisted Diaz by “use of force and violence,” according to a criminal complaint against Montgomery. He was booked on suspicion of felony resisting arrest and misdemeanor possession of weed and was held for three days.
The marijuana possession charge was not filed, but he is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 8 for arraignment.
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