A passenger in the car says it was an example of police brutality. The sheriff says he is reviewing the department’s policy and protocols.
Passenger Omar Medina took the video Sunday afternoon. He said his brother Jesus was driving away from a 7-11 ATM in Lynwood to go pick up a bumper when they were stopped.
We don’t hear it in the video, but Medina said the deputy told them they were stopped for tinted windows and expired license plates.
Omar said, “It’s a regular traffic citation, you know a fix-it ticket.”
Jesus can be heard on video saying, “The DMVs are closed we can’t do anything about nothing.”
For much of the video, the deputy appears to have his hand on the door handle while Omar, Jesus and a nephew in the back are telling him to call his supervisor and Omar is calling 9-1-1.
“He tried to unlock the door open it,” Jesus said on video. “He hasn’t even asked me for my license insurance or nothing.”
Jesus continued, “Did you ask me to step out of the car? I was going to, you were going to but you just stuck your hand in the car.”
And then, more deputies arrived and they struggle to pull 33-year-old Jesus out of the car and arrest him.
CBS 2 News asked Sheriff Villanueva about the incident. He said, “It turns out that the rear passenger was arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sale and there was an act of trying to rid the narcotics from the location. However, it was intercepted and thankfully by someone, by a bystander. The entire thing may have just been a distraction.”
Omar said he doesn’t know anything about his teenage nephew and whether he had drugs. He said both he and the nephew were taken to jail that day and released the next morning. His brother Jesus is still in custody.
The sheriff said he’s accused of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, resisting an officer with force and driving without a license. Sheriff Villanueva said a female deputy was hit in the stomach and broke her arm in three places.
Omar said this was about abuse of power. “Police brutality is at an all-time high right now especially with this coronavirus going around now,” he said.
Sheriff Villanueva says a criminal investigation is ongoing but he says he will look into policy and protocol to see if there was something the deputies could have done differently.