Los Angeles, CA

Video: Veteran LAPD Officer Chokes Handcuffed R&B Producer After He Spits At Him During Mental Health Crisis


Body-worn camera footage captured a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer choking a suicidal music producer who was handcuffed to a gurney in North Hollywood last month, after the producer appeared to spit in the officer’s direction.

On October 4, Los Angeles firefighters requested that LAPD respond to a street in North Hollywood to assist them with an “attempted suicide.”

In a radio call, a Los Angeles firefighter said that 29-year-old Jesse Batten had reportedly been “texting pictures of like a hanging rope from the ceiling” to a friend earlier that day and admitted that he was “uh like, feeling suicidal.”

LAPD officers responded to the scene and assisted firefighters in handcuffing Batten, body-worn camera footage released early November shows.

In the footage, Batten tells a firefighter he doesn’t want to hurt himself or anybody else but also admits he’s not feeling good and has been having “bad thoughts.” Authorities say they’re going to take him to the hospital.

Eventually Los Angeles firefighters and LAPD officers handcuff Batten to a “hospital gurney.”

“We’re just trying to get you safely to the hospital,” someone tells Batten.

“And yet you have these fucking officers,” Batten responds angrily.

“We’re actually very cool,” LAPD officer Oswaldo Pedemonte reassures Batten.

Moments later, Pedemonte grabs Batten by the neck with his right hand, after Batten slaps Pedemonte’s hand and appears to spit in his direction. “Don’t do that, okay?” The officer says sternly as he chokes Batten for approximately three seconds.

“Get your hands off of him,” someone else says, before Pedemonte loosens his grip.

“Yeah, that’s right. We’re good,” Pedemonte responds, shortly before throwing a bed sheet on Batten while another officer points a taser at Batten's torso.

Eventually, Pedemonte walks away to wash his hands and face with a garden hose and a Los Angeles firefighter places a “spit rag” on Batten’s head.

“Wouldn’t be the first time. Bitch, put that shit on my head,” Batten says.

Pedemonte is a 27 year LAPD veteran with the department’s North Hollywood Division, according to a database of LAPD officers. It’s unclear if he’s still in the field.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore and an LAPD spokesperson did not answer questions emailed to them Monday morning, as of publishing.

In a news release the department said that Pedemonte "attempted to push Batten away when a categorical use of force occurred” after Batten “became belligerent and proceeded to slap and spit on one of the officers.” “During the use of force, the officer had contact with Batten’s neck area."

Afterwards, Batten was reportedly transported to a local hospital "where he was treated for alcohol intoxication" and subsequently arrested and booked for battery on a police officer.

Batten did not "sustain any injuries, nor did he complain of injury," according to the LAPD.

L.A. TACO reached out to Batten on Instagram to get his side of the story but did not hear back.

Batten is a celebrated R&B and hip-hop music producer who goes by the stage name ‘Ranen’ and has contributed to songs by the late MoneySign Suede, as well as Watts rapper 03 Greedo.

In a 2020 interview with Voyage LA , Batten said that he grew up “intensely passionate about music and sports.”

“I was raised in a house with a lot of music so I had a deep love of it from an early age,” Batten said. “I started learning guitar when I was nine and studied with a great teacher for years. I was playing in a rock band and writing my own music by the time I was twelve or thirteen.”

In 2017, Batten won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for his song ‘Focus (Blossom).’

Batten described the road to success as “tumultuous as all hell.”“But I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Batten told Voyage LA . “Music is a tough business and you face a lot of rejection but I know I have to persevere to achieve my goals. You have to develop a thick skin and believe that, if you work hard enough, good things will come from it.”

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