Video of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy holding a suspected drug dealer on the ground at gunpoint after a short foot chase in Lancaster prompted a small protest Friday evening outside the sheriff’s substation.
The arrest occurred April 30 near Division Street and Avenue J and video of the arrest posted to social media showed the Black man, identified as Kennathan Williams, 22, face down on the ground, with a deputy kneeling across the suspect’s back with his gun drawn and aimed near his head.
The deputy saw what he believed to be a drug deal occurring involving an armed Williams, who ran from the area. When the deputy caught up with Williams near a gas station, Williams laid down and was detained at gunpoint, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
In a statement, the department said Williams had a loaded gun and ammunition, but added the deputy did not follow proper procedure.
“The tactics used during the arrest of the suspect are not taught by LASD and will be reviewed,” the statement said.
The department told the Los Angeles Times Williams was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of a loaded and concealed firearm.
Demonstrators Friday called on the department to fire the deputy and also want the department’s contracts with Lancaster and Palmdale canceled.
“I just thought at any moment this man on top of this other man could’ve easily pulled the trigger and we’d be saying something different,” pastor and activist Brian Johnson told CBS2. “It’s very reminiscent of George Floyd.”
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