By Cailin Garcia
SANTA CLARITA — The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station is conducting a “use of force investigation” after a concerning video began circulating on Tuesday night of two Santa Clarita deputies engaged in a struggle with a Black suspect. The video depicts the officers holding the man down, punching him several times, and eventually putting him in a chokehold.
The person recording the video, seated in a car across the street from the struggle, is in clear distress, repeating several times, “We have to get him out! He can’t breathe!”
In the video, another individual can be heard calling 911, stating, “There’s two police officers on top of someone, it doesn’t look like he can breathe.”
In response to the video and several phone calls they received regarding the incident, the SCV Sheriff Station issued a statement on their Facebook page. According to the statement, this situation occurred yesterday around 6:30 p.m. near the intersection of Jake’s Way and Daniel Street in the Canyon Country neighborhood.
“Santa Clarita Deputies responded to a package theft call for service Tuesday,” said the SCV Sheriff’s statement. “As they neared the location, they encountered a man walking with a package. The man told deputies the package did not belong to him.”
“The deputies attempted to detain the man regarding the theft investigation. The man became uncooperative and a use of force occurred. It was later determined, the man was wanted in connection with an armed robbery of a U.S. postal carrier approximately one hour earlier, in which a hand gun was simulated,” said the statement.
According to the SCV Sheriff’s officials, the man in the video was positively identified by the postal carrier as the suspect. Both the deputies and the suspect had “moderate injuries” but did not require hospitalization. Following medical clearance, the suspect was booked at the SCV station for robbery and assault on a peace officer.
This is not the first time the SCV Sheriff Station has faced criticism due to viral videos on social media. This past summer, in August 2020, a video of an SCV officer pointing a gun at three Black teenagers gained millions of views on Twitter and Instagram.
According to the mother of one of the teenagers involved, the group had been attacked by a homeless man with a knife and several witnesses called the police for help. When the police arrived on the scene, they pointed their guns at the teenagers as several by-standers said, “It wasn’t them!” and “It was the other guy!”
The parents of the teenagers involved stated that this was a “traumatic experience” for their kids.
In response to the incident that occurred this Tuesday, the SCV Sheriff Station announced an ongoing “use of force investigation.” They encourage any witnesses to contact the station or submit anonymous tips to the LA Crime Stoppers. The names of the suspect and officers involved have not been released.
Cailin Garcia is the co-editor in chief and founder of the People’s Vanguard of Los Angeles. Originally from Santa Clarita, CA, she is currently a senior at UCLA, studying Sociology with a minor in Professional Writing.
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