By Jazmine Colon
LOS ANGELES, CA — Los Angeles Police Officer Frank Hernandez pleaded no contest to the on-duty assault of an unarmed man that was recorded, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Thursday.
In April 2020, Hernandez and his partner responded to a trespassing call and encountered Richard Castillo near a vacant lot in Boyle Heights. The confrontation between police and Castillo escalated when Hernandez illegally punched the unarmed victim more than a dozen times in the head, neck and body, said the DA.
The LAPD officer was immediately sentenced following his plea to one felony count of assault under color of authority. The terms of his plea agreement include formal probation for two years, 80 hours of community service and one year of anger management classes.
“Wearing a badge does not give an officer the right to use unreasonable and excessive force. When this happens, it erodes trust in the community and can impact our collective safety,” District Attorney Gascón said, adding, “My office will continue to hold officers accountable when they break the law.”