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VIDEO: LA County Deputies Under Investigation After Arrest Of Female Robbery Suspect Goes Viral

Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) released bodycam footage of an arrest that was featured in a viral cell phone video of a woman being taken to the ground by a deputy (video below).

The cell phone video of the takedown and ensuing arrest spread quickly on social media and prompted outrage from critics who claimed the footage showed the woman’s First Amendment rights being violated, the New York Post reported.

But that’s not exactly what happened, according to the sheriff’s department.

The incident occurred on June 24 when deputies from LASD’s Lancaster Sheriff’s Station responded to a 911 call about a robbery in progress at the WinCo grocery store in the 700-block of West Avenue, KNBC reported.

Deputies spotted two suspects matching the description of the robbers in the parking lot in front of the store.

The deputies approached the male suspect and put him into handcuffs but videos showed he resisted.

As he was being detained, the female suspect – who turned out to be his wife – pulled out her phone and began filming the deputies, cell phone video posted to social media showed.

Once the male suspect was in custody, one of the deputies walked over to the woman who was filming them to detain her as well, according to the sheriff’s department.

“You can’t touch me,” the woman shrieked at the deputy in the video. “You can’t touch me!”

That was when the deputy took the suspect to the ground, the video showed.

A peanut gallery of onlookers filmed and yelled at the deputy as he struggled with the woman who continued to resist arrest.

The struggle went on for a couple of minutes before the deputy was able to get the suspect into handcuffs, the video showed.

“The video of an arrest at WinCo last week is disturbing,” Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a statement. “I have talked to Sheriff (Robert) Luna and the Lancaster Captain. I am confident they are conducting a thorough investigation into the use of force.”

“It should be pointed out that this was not a simple shoplifting,” Parris continued. “The call came in as a robbery in progress. The reason I point this out is because we should stop listening to rumors. We should gather all the facts before coming to any conclusions regarding the suspects, the deputies or the department.”

“I don’t like what I see on the video. People in these situations are extremely stressed and will often act badly out of fear,” the mayor said. “Deputies should take this into consideration when approaching them.”

“But, we should also understand that our deputies are working long hours and are often sleep deprived. We are 31% understaffed at the Lancaster Station,” he added. “This is not offered as an excuse or justification, but I also recognize that until we have the necessary number of deputies to be fully operational we all share some of the responsibility for incidents like this.”

LASD released a statement that said it was investigating the incident, KNBC reported.

“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has opened an investigation into this incident,” the statement read.

“While the Department does not make statements related to ongoing investigations, Sheriff Luna has made it clear that he expects Department personnel to treat all members of the public with dignity and respect, and that personnel who do not uphold our training standards will be held accountable. In the interest of transparency with our community, the Sheriff’s Department is releasing body-worn camera video from the incident,” the statement read.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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