A 24-year-old man whose arrest in Compton by three Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies was caught on video and raised concerns about possible excessive use of force filed a written complaint with the department Wednesday alleging police brutality and intimidation of his family.
“In light of a nation and world in solidarity currently torn apart by the misbehavior of law enforcement, it is incumbent upon victims and citizens to speak up about errant officers and their menace-to-society behavior,” according to Dalvin Price’s two-page complaint letter. “… Officers captured stepping over the line and showing unnecessary aggression and use of force should be immediately fired and terminated from ever serving again in law enforcement.”
The May 31 arrest of Price was captured on cell phone video by a bystander. The video shows Price being held on the ground and struck by pair of deputies, then shows a third deputy piling on and appearing to use his knee to kick the suspect on the ground.
Price told NBC4 this week that his ribs were broken during the arrest near Rosecrans and Pearl Avenue, and he was held in a patrol car for about five hours before being eventually booked and released. His family told the station Price has not been charged with a crime.
Video of the arrest surfaced around the same time as another video showing a deputy punching a motorist and pulling the suspect from a vehicle in Lynwood during a traffic stop.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva issued a statement last week saying he was aware of the videos.
“As with all use of force incidents, these cases will be thoroughly investigated, and we will also examine tactics, policies and procedures,” he said. “As I have stated before, this is another example of why we so desperately need the Board of Supervisors to fully fund the LASD body-worn camera project. The public deserves full transparency.”
Price’s letter does not specifically ask for financial damages, but asks for the firing of deputies involved in his arrest. He also contends that hours after he returned home following his arrest, the sheriff’s department “cordoned off my dead-end street claiming to conduct a registration sweep but my uncle’s car was the only vehicle towed away.”
“My family experienced a blatant show of force and intimidation which left them disturbed and concerned over evidence planting,” Price contended.
Compton city officials last week formally called for the removal of the three deputies seen in Price’s arrest.
“Our top priority is ensuring the safety of our residents,” Mayor Aja Brown said in a statement. “When the video surfaces, city leadership immediately called for a swift investigation. While we understand an investigation has been initiated, we are calling upon the sheriff’s department to remove the deputies in question from providing law enforcement to the residents of Compton.
“It is our expectation that all deputies that are placed in service for our city, paid by taxpayers, will provide our residents with the basic dignity and human rights that we deserve.”
Brown and Price are expected to speak together at a late-morning news conference to discuss the arrest.
Organizers of a group dubbed the Justice for Dalvin Committee said they are in the process of establishing a GoFundMe account to support Price.