Footage Shows Deputy Throwing Woman to Ground

LA County Sheriff's Department is investigating whether excessive force was used in store lot
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2023 12:12 PM CDT

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is investigating an incident last month in which a woman is seen on video being hurled to the ground by a deputy outside a local grocery store. The Los Angeles Times reports that the incident took place June 24, in the parking lot of a WinCo Foods in the Southern California city of Lancaster, where sheriff's deputies were responding to a call about an alleged "in-progress robbery." In bodycam video released by the department, deputies are seen detaining a man in the market's parking lot, while a woman said to be his wife stands nearby recording the encounter on her cellphone. A department release notes that the two "[matched] the description given by store security personnel in calls placed to 911" regarding the robbery suspects.

As the man protests the pat-down he's receiving and being handcuffed, a second video recorded by a witness in her car shows one of the deputies walk over to the woman; off camera, the woman is then heard yelling, "You can't touch me!" The witness then pans the camera over to the woman, who is seen being thrown to the ground by the deputy. The bodycam video shows a deputy yelling "Get on the ground!" and "Stop, or you're going to get punched in the face." The woman yells back, "You punch me, you're gonna get sued!" As she continues to yell at detaining officers, one is then seen spraying a substance on her. The man, meanwhile, can be heard on the witness video yelling that his wife has cancer, per CNN. She's eventually cuffed as well, and the couple are eventually brought to separate patrol cars.

"I just couldn't believe my eyes, I was just so upset," the witness who recorded the video said Wednesday night at a protest over the incident in front of the store. The department release calls the video "disturbing" and notes that "an objective review of the incident will be conducted to determine if the force used was reasonable, necessary, appropriate, and proportional to the level of actions described." It adds both deputies seen interacting with the couple "have been reassigned from field duty pending further administrative review." As for the couple, Sheriff Robert Luna tells CNN the man was arrested and cited on suspicion of resisting or delaying an officer, petty theft or attempt at petty theft, and interfering with a business. The woman was arrested and cited on suspicion of assaulting an officer and battery for allegedly assaulting security personnel inside the store. (More Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.