A shocking new viral video shows Los Angeles deputies holding three Black teens at gunpoint with an assault rifle, despite the fact that they were the victims of the crime for which the deputies were called.
The video shows a deputy aiming an assault rifle at the teens and refusing to listen to a group of bystanders attempting to intervene, one of whom is the woman who called the police for the teens.
Warning: This video contains profanity.
Police in Santa Clarita point their guns & arrest the teenagers who needed their help pic.twitter.com/GPjQo80ICd
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) August 10, 2020
The incident occurred in Santa Clarita, California, a suburb northwest of Los Angeles, after the three Black teens were threatened by a homeless man with a knife.
Throughout the video a crowd of bystanders repeatedly yells at the deputies that the teens are the victims in the situation, not the aggressors.
The only response they receive is from the deputy holding the assault rifle:
“Get away from me! Get away from me! Back up!”
A woman who identifies herself as the manager of a nearby restaurant who witnessed the encounter and called 911 for the teens repeatedly tries to talk with the deputies, but they ignore her.
At several points a woman in the crowd, who seems to be the one filming the encounter, can be heard saying:
“They don’t care because they Black… Those kids didn’t do nothing at all!”
The teens never resist or move throughout the encounter.
Speaking to HuffPost, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that the teens were handcuffed, detained, and questioned, then released.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva released a video statement in the wake of the incident, saying that he was “concerned” about the tactics involved and that the matter is under investigation.
My statement regarding the recent video involving a call for service in Santa Clarita. The matter is being investigated & we will provide updates as they become available. pic.twitter.com/yu1ZCXtVKz
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) August 10, 2020
He gave no further details or information.
Speaking to local paper The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth called for one of the deputy’s removal.
“I think anyone who saw the video would find it concerning, and it’s appropriate for the city to ask for an immediate investigation and to ask for a deputy to be removed from the field while the investigation occurs.”
On Twitter, people were appalled by the video and the way the Sheriff’s handled the call.
If these kids were white do you think there’s any chance police come in with assault rifles aimed at them? You’re either lying, ignorant or worse if you think the answer is no
— Elijah Stewart (@EJ_Stewart) August 10, 2020
I know this has been said ad nauseum, but it appears that it needs repeating. Why does the officer have an assault-style weapon? Why does the officer have his weapon trained on anyone, let alone the victims of the alleged attack? And why assume the Black teens are the culprits?
— Timothy Wilson (@Timothysaurus) August 10, 2020
Why is it they have to draw their weapons every time? As if their in a war zone. Our communities aren’t hostile combat zones. Policing shouldn’t be draw your weapons first. Ask questions later. FFS
— Sullivan1 (@jysbar) August 10, 2020
— Ronnie Watson 💼 (@Secopsgeek) August 10, 2020
Police “See something say something” also police “Stand away from me, back up and be quiet”
— Big Black Ugly (@WatchMeBGreat) August 10, 2020
Absolutely unacceptable behavior by the police. If one of us pointed a gun like that we’d be in prison.
— Lemon Drops4u (@LDrops4u) August 10, 2020
If what police are doing is what they are trained to do… the addendum to training is simple.
DONT ASSUME GUILT BASED ON SKIN COLOR.
BLACK DOES NOT EQUATE GUILT.
— leBlanc (@el_toddito) August 10, 2020
This is the reason POC don't trust and don't want to call the Police we are always considered the Perp even when we call for help. It reminds me I've another incident several years ago where a black bouncer at a nightclub unarmed some White perps and was killed by the police
— RSME (@SuitermusicE) August 10, 2020
Why is a Sheriff's deputy outfitted with a military-grade weapon? This is what we mean by "defund the police." There's no reason police should look like their fighting in Fallujah. I understand SWAT and all that, but this is a SHERIFF'S DEPUTY, not a SWAT member.
— FedEx (@Pairadachs) August 10, 2020
I've been trying to tell SoCal… Santa Clarita is EXTREMELY racist. Trigger happy sheriffs actually held assault rifles at kids, as the crowd continue to say that they didn't do anything wrong.
Every sheriff here should be fired w/no pension!!! This is terrorism!!! https://t.co/V4Abw0L2yP
— 🏀🦉 (@SoCalJCred) August 10, 2020
The Sheriff’s office told The Santa Clarita Valley Signal that a witness also called to report an assault with a skateboard, but no victim was found and no crime committed.
A rally was later held at the intersection where the incident occurred, to protest the way the Sheriff’s Department handled the call.