Los Angeles, CA — A disturbing video was uploaded to Twitter this week by a victim of a traffic accident who says police tasered an innocent man who tried to help them. The video is now the center of an investigation into the Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who responded to the scene.
According to the sheriff's department, deputies were responding to a traffic collision near 104th Street and Van Ness Avenue Tuesday morning when the man allegedly ran into the road to block their vehicle.
Deputies claimed that they attempted to de-escalate the situation once they got out of their vehicle but say that the man "became hostile and a use of force occurred."
“As deputies arrived, an individual ran onto the roadway, blocking the path of the deputies’ vehicle,” a sheriff’s department spokesperson told VICE. “Deputies exited their patrol vehicle and contacted the individual. Despite their de-escalation efforts, the individual became hostile and a use of force occurred.”
That is the official story. However, the person who took the video says that is not what happened and explained that the man was there to help and was flagging down the deputies to help with the crash.
The use of force was apparently so over the top that it prompted another man to run out of his house and encounter the deputies. The man who ran out of the house was clearly angry at what he just witnessed, so he ignored police commands to back off which led to a struggle with the deputies.
“Hey, he’s not in his right mind!” he yells at the officers as they attempt to grab him. “He’s not in his right f—–g mind!”
“Get off of me, don’t f—-g touch me,” he replies as officers tackle him to the pavement.
According to police, the two men knew each other, although their relation was unknown.
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A woman off-camera can be heard confirming the other man's claim, noting that the man who was trying to help may struggle with mental illness which is likely why there was a misunderstanding when he flagged down the deputies.
After the incident, both men were transported to the hospital to be treated for their injuries. However, only the man who ran out of his home and faced off with the deputies was cited for battery on a peace officer and obstruction, according to LASD.
According to police, as of Thursday, the man who was tasered for trying to help was still being evaluated in the hospital — two days after being tasered. The identities of both men have not been released to the public.
While some may not believe that responding officers would attack a person attempting to help, the fact is that it happens all too often.
The tragic case of Jonathan Price shocked the country in October after the local hero was gunned down for reportedly helping a woman in need. Adding to the tragic nature of his death, we found out that before he was shot four times, body camera footage showed that he attempted to shake Officer Shaun Lucas' hand multiple times.
CBS 11 released the details of a probable cause affidavit they obtained from Lucas' arrest. The officer's body camera footage reportedly captured Price greeting the officer with a handshake before being gunned down.
According to the affidavit, Lucas was responding to a call of a “possible fight in progress” at a ‘Kwik Chek’ convenience store around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 3. Texas Ranger Laura Simmons, who prepared the affidavit, noted that what happened next gave the department justification for charging the cop with murder.
In another incident, just like the one above, another Good Samaritan had stopped to help a crash victim. Earlier this year, the taxpayers of Albuquerque were put on notice that they will be held liable for the actions of one of their finest after he was seen on video attacking an innocent Native American man in front of his daughter — for smiling at him.
Dametrio Maldonado was travelling to an event to volunteer with his daughter when he noticed a single car accident on the side of the road. Being the kind gentleman that he is, Maldonado stopped to help the victim. Once Maldonado waited for police to arrive, he gave the officers a smile and then left. However, one of the cops on the scene hated smiles. Seriously.
State Police officer Sondre Loberg then handcuffed and detained Maldonado stating that, “You’re looking at me with a grin on your face and I don’t take that as politeness, I take that as a big f**k you, you understand?”