LA County sheriff says it has concerns about tactics deputies used to detain three innocent Black teenagers at gunpoint who were victims of a crime themselves.
The Los Angeles County sheriff says it has concerns about tactics deputies used to detain three Black teenagers at gunpoint after the mother of one said the youths had been threatened by a man holding a knife.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a social media post Monday that he had seen a video of the incident, which was uploaded by one of the teen's mothers to her Instagram profile last week, and that the matter is being investigated.
CBS Los Angeles reported that the trio were teenagers.
Deputy Juanita Navarro, a spokeswoman for the department, said the youths were not arrested during the incident Friday and had been released at the scene.
Tammi Collins wrote on Instagram that her son was sitting with friends at a bus stop in the Santa Clarita Valley when a man asked them if they had any drugs and then tried to steal their belongings.
She said the man then pulled out a knife and tried to stab them.
View this post on Instagram
I wanted to share what happened to my son yesterday in SCV when he was with a couple of friends sitting at a bus stop headed home. He was attacked by a gentleman (homeless guy) who approached them and first asked them if they had any crack then tried to take their things. The guy became so aggressive that he took his shirt off pulled out a knife and whip them tried to stabbed them. His friends only had their skate boards to cover them from the knife and whip so they held it out to keep distance from this guy. Several bystanders including the restaurant manager of Buffalo Wild wings called the police to get help for the boys but “One” caller called the police and reported two black guys are attacking a homeless guy. This is how the police responded. This is something my son and his friends will never forget. I’m still wonder how will I ever help my son recover from this traumatic experience. Please pray for my family. Please Share to protect our kids!!!
Collins wrote that bystanders called police to help the boys, though she wrote that apparently one caller reported that the teens were attacking the man.
Navarro said a caller reported that two Black men in their early 20s had struck a man with a skateboard.
My statement regarding the recent video involving a call for service in Santa Clarita. The matter is being investigated & we will provide updates as they become available. pic.twitter.com/yu1ZCXtVKz— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) August 10, 2020
The 11-minute video Collins posted shows at least three deputies pointing their guns at the teens, including one deputy who had a long gun.
The teens obeyed the deputies' commands to back up with their hands up and knelt on the ground to be handcuffed.
Bystanders shouted at the officers that the teens didn't do anything.
The bystanders also tried to advise the teens as they were being detained, saying “keep your hands up, keep your hands up!” as well as “just listen to them and it'll be over soon” and “don't answer any questions until your mom gets there.”
After the teens were handcuffed, the deputies argued with the crowd over what happened and what the callers reported.
“If they weren’t doing wrong, we wouldn’t be here,” one deputy said.
Navarro said deputies could not find the man.
It was not clear if Collins recorded the video, but she wrote that she didn't know how she could help her son in the aftermath.
“This is something my son and his friends will never forget,” she wrote.