Controversial video: Hayward police seen punching, kicking suspect during arrest

Bay Area

HAYWARD, Calif. (KRON) – Shocking video of an arrest by Hayward police leaves the community on edge — The accusations of excessive force by officers as they took a man into custody.

In the video you can see the officers punching, even kicking the suspect. Hayward police have confirmed to KRON4 the officers’ actions are under review.

A spokesperson for the Hayward Police Department says this man was arrested because he had a gun.

Unconfirmed reports from witnesses say the man may have been waving at cars passing by the road. Those same witnesses say the man did not have a gun on him at the time he was arrested and they don’t understand why the police responded in such a violent way.

An Easter Sunday arrest caught on video and shared on social media is rubbing people the wrong way in Hayward.

In the videos, the man identified as 35-year-old Keith Swain is seen being kicked by an officer and then punched several times by another. All of this while Swain was being pulled to the ground and eventually handcuffed.

“If I hadn’t recorded this, it wouldn’t even be a thing. It would just be another day in Hayward,” Christopher Phillips said. 

Witness Christopher Phillips shot video in front of Mountain Mike’s Pizza along West Harder Road.

He says Swain appeared to be complying with the officers’ commands and he doesn’t understand why they responded the way that they did.

“I wanted to get out of the car and say something but with all the crazy stuff that’s been going on lately, you just never really know anymore. You just never know anymore,” Phillips said. 

A witness who shared this second video, but did not want to be named, said Swain was accused of waving a gun at passing cars in front of the pizza shop.

Swain apparently threw the gun in a garbage can before police arrived.

She too was uncomfortable with the way police handled this situation.

In response to videos being shared online, Hayward police Captain Bryan Matthews confirmed to KRON4 that the arrest is under review by the department’s “internal affairs unit.”

He added, “We recognize the community entrusts us with the legal authority to carry out our duties and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We remain committed to transparency. When warranted after the investigative process, officers are held accountable within the boundaries of the law.”

Phillips says an investigation needs to happen.

“I hope that whoever is investigating this situation does the right thing and really holds these officers accountable because that’s what should happen,” Phillips said. 

Police tell us they did recover a gun at the time of the arrest.

Swain is currently in the Santa Rita Jail facing a series of charges including being a felon in possession of a firearm and resisting a peace officer.

KRON4 will of course keep you up to date as we learn more about the investigation into these officer’s actions.

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