Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna has expressed his concerns over a video showing a deputy forcefully slamming a woman to the ground. He described the incident as “disturbing” and assured the public that a thorough investigation into the confrontation will take place.
The Sheriff’s Department recently released body camera footage capturing the moment a deputy threw a woman to the ground outside a WinCo Foods grocery store in Lancaster on June 24.
According to Luna, deputies had responded to a call from a store employee reporting that two customers were allegedly assaulting loss-prevention employees. The video depicts two deputies at the scene, with one detaining a man who matched the description of one of the suspects provided by store officials.
In the footage, as the first deputy detains the man, a second deputy approaches a woman who is standing nearby and recording the incident on her cell phone. The deputy grabs the woman, forcefully throws her to the ground, and struggles to handcuff her, eventually resorting to using pepper spray in an attempt to subdue her.
You can see the footage below:
The identities of the deputies involved and the individuals they confronted have not been released.
Luna, who became aware of the violent confrontation on Friday, has already reached out to local elected officials and community leaders regarding the incident. He stated that an investigation has been initiated and encouraged any witnesses to come forward.
“This investigation is aimed at objectively determining if the force used was reasonable, necessary, appropriate, and proportional to the level of actions described,” Luna said during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Community groups are demanding that the deputies be held accountable and fired. Lisa Garrett, the woman who recorded the viral video, expressed her shock and dismay at witnessing the deputy’s actions. Alongside activists near the WinCo Foods grocery store, she called for justice.
Protesters staged a rally outside the store and subsequently went inside to demand a meeting with management, but their efforts were unsuccessful. They also urged shoppers to boycott the store in response to the incident.
The tweet below verifies the news:
L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna vowed Wednesday to conduct a thorough investigation into an incident where a deputy was caught on camera slamming a woman to the ground and pepper-spraying her outside a Lancaster grocery store.https://t.co/HQxnzrqgGz
— KNX News 97.1 FM (@knxnews) July 6, 2023
Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris stated that he does not believe the deputies should lose their jobs, explaining that activists can make demands without waiting for all the facts or the completion of the investigation. He emphasized reserving judgment until the investigation is concluded.
Luna mentioned that both the man and woman involved were arrested, cited, and subsequently released on alleged charges including resisting an officer, attempted petty theft, and interfering with a business. The woman who was thrown to the ground was taken to a hospital for treatment of eye pain caused by pepper spray and abrasions on her arms.
Following the spread of the bystander footage on social media, both officers were removed from field duty, as stated in a statement released by authorities on Monday.
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