Video Showing LA Sheriff’s Deputies Holding Teens At Gunpoint Goes Viral
A video of L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies holding three teenagers at gunpoint in Santa Clarita has gone viral. It’s leading to questions — and outrage — about the officers’ tactics.
Tammi Collins posted a video of the incident on Instagram. In the post she wrote that her teenage son and two of his friends were attacked at a bus stop by a man with a knife.
She said they used their skateboards as shields.
Bystanders called 911 and several Sheriff’s deputies arrived. But in the video, they can be seen pointing their weapons at the teenagers, two of whom are Black. One deputy takes aim with what appears to be an AR-15 automatic rifle.
As onlookers protest that the real attacker had fled, the deputies handcuff the three teens and detain them.
One of the deputies says in the video that they were responding to a call that someone had been assaulted with a skateboard.
Robert Brown, a lawyer representing the teens’ families, said they were released after about a half hour. He said it was disturbing that the deputies appear to have responded with weapons drawn before sussing out the situation.
“I have concerns regarding the tactics employed,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a video addressing the incident. “The matter is currently being investigated,” he added.
In another video posted on Twitter this afternoon, Sheriff's Chief Dennis Kneer said that in the wake of the incident, Villanueva "has directed a thorough review of our policy as it pertains to the deployment of the AR-15 rifle, as seen in the video." After the review, the department will "take appropriate action as necessary," he said.
Brown says no decision has been made yet whether to file a lawsuit.