Videos of recent rough arrests in Compton and Lynwood involving Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are under investigation by the department and drew criticism Thursday from the congresswoman who represents both communities.
In one video, a deputy pulls over a man in Lynwood for a traffic violation, then pulls him out of the vehicle after the man defiantly refuses to comply with the deputy’s orders.
The deputy can be seen punching the driver while inside the vehicle, then pulling him out and taking him to the ground where he was taken into custody.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, resisting arrest and driving without a license. A passenger was arrested for failure to comply with a lawful order and another passenger was arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sales.
A second deputy suffered a broken arm while carrying out the arrest, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
In the Compton incident, two deputies are seen in a short video pinning down an alleged looter and, while trying to take him into custody, a third deputy comes in and begins kneeing the suspect in the ribs. What led up to the suspect being on the ground was not shown in the video.
Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, whose 44th District includes Compton and Lynwood, called the videos “disturbing” and demanded answers from the department.
“While we do not yet have all of the information or know the full extent of the circumstances around either incident, the videos suggest that there was unnecessary and excessive use of force used in both incidents by law enforcement officers,” said Diaz Barragan, D-San Pedro.
She said she has spoken with the heads of both the Compton and Lynwood stations and asked for more information and answers regarding each incident.
Both incidents are under an expedited review by the department, Diaz Barragan said.
“I made it clear that I will continue to demand answers and accountability as these investigations continue,” she said.
In response to the Compton video, Villanueva said on Wednesday “This is another example of why we so desperately need the (Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors) to fully fund (the sheriff’s department’s) body-worn camera project. The public deserves full transparency.”
He also urged anyone with footage from the Compton incident to contact the department.
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