Central jail in downtown San Diego
The central jail in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego police said they plan to reveal more information later Friday about an arrest in Chicano Park Thursday night that led to more than 50 protesters gathering in front of the downtown San Diego Central Jail to demand the man’s release.

Videos posted to Facebook appeared to show a San Diego police officer beating the man after he was brought to the ground by multiple police officers. One video shows the officer punching the man’s upper body at least nine times.

Eddie Alavrez, 22, was arrested after he and a group of people began filming the arrest of Georgina Ramirez Mercado, 35, at Chicano Park, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

A witness at the scene, John Vasquez, told the Union Tribune that he was walking through Chicano Park when several San Diego Police Department vehicles arrived and several male police officers rushed into the women’s bathroom and pulled out Mercado.

Vasquez, Alvarez and many others began filming Mercado’s arrest with their phones.

A community activist who filmed the incident said the officers accused Mercado and Alvarez of interfering in an investigation.

Alvarez, who is a member of the activist group Brown Berets of Aztlan, was in the park with his girlfriend and young children. He was booked on suspicion of felony obstructing or resisting an officer, and a misdemeanor count of resisting an officer. He was being held on $20,000 bail. Mercado was booked on suspicion of resisting an officer, a misdemeanor charge, and was being held on $5,000 bail.

SDPD would not comment on the incident but planned to send out a news release regarding the incident later Friday, according to Lt. Shawn Takeuchi.

–City News Service