Members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department were captured on video allegedly assaulting a Black man said to be working as a security guard. The deputies are seen not only beating the man up but putting a gun to his head, leaving some to protest their use of excessive force.
The clip was posted on Twitter on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 1 a.m. by Cerise Castle, a Los Angeles-based investigative journalist.
Castle details the alleged excessive use of force in a 90-second video. Through her tweets, she attempts to break down the incident that happened between late Saturday night, Oct. 15, and early Sunday morning, Oct. 16. At the center of the footage she released is Blake Anderson, 24, who was wrestled to the ground and beaten by the deputies.
Anderson, who is believed to have worked as a bouncer at Inglewood’s Good Batch Lounge, reportedly lost his eyesight during the altercation.
While she does not share why the officers are in a confrontation with Anderson (mentioning only that they “pulled up and began beating” the security guard), Castle does identify one of the two officers as Deputy Rodriguez.
She tweeted, “Deputy Rodriguez and his partner pulled up and began beating Blake. He’s since lost vision in his eye. He’s current being charged with assault on a police office for this.”
“Multiple times during this video,” Castile continues, “The deputy puts a gun to Blake’s head. Blake told me he at this point the deputy said to him, ‘I’m going to blow your f—ing brains out.’”
The incident happened during a late-night club “let out,” and bystanders can be heard shouting, “He’s security here,” and to Anderson, “Don’t resist, they’re a gang!”
The woman filming says, “Blake, no. Blake, no. Blake. Don’t resist, Blake. No no no. Do what you gotta do, Blake. Come on,” as one of the deputies reportedly pummels him in the head with his fist and slams his head into the ground.
As the officers twist his arms behind his back, the individual says, “Please Blake, no. Don’t fight back.”
Anderson is pinned by one deputy to the ground with one knee to his shoulder. While he is restrained, the officers handcuff him.
“He did nothing. He was walking with me. He did nothing,” the friend filming remarks to the officers. “Blake, do not let them do anything, Blake. Blake, let them take you bro.”
The journalist was careful to note the location of the lounge, stating it was in Inglewood, an area outside of the LASD’s district, and questioning why would the officers be initiating an arrest outside of the jurisdiction.
Since the video was posted, it has been viewed over half a million times.
Castille later posted a minute-and-a-half excerpt from a local establishment’s surveillance video. The footage seems to corroborate her story that the officers drove into the parking lot, and hopped out of their patrol vehicle as he walked back and forth with his lady friend.
LASD released a statement saying the deputies had a reason to detain Anderson, saying, “the suspect, Blake Anderson, was … arrested for the following charges: felon in possession of firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of (loaded) concealed firearm, assault on a peace officer with a firearm.”
“Suspect Anderson was on active parole at the time of his arrest, is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms,” the department added. “And was not an employee of the ‘Good Batch Hookah Lounge.’ The initial contact and force used in this incident is concerning and is being reviewed. Depending on the outcome, proper administrative action will result.”
Activists, according to ABC 7, say that the use of force was not appropriate.
On Wednesday, Oct. 18, Sheriff Alex Villanueva answered the critique of the arrest and the backlash the video has received, saying for them it is simple, “He is a convicted felon. He was armed and there was a struggle and the use of force is being properly investigated as a category 3 use of force.”
The sheriff says local activists are making up a narrative to endear his case and demonize law enforcement.
“They tried to sell the idea that somehow we blinded him and he was working. No, none of the above. That is how activists use social media to try to gain traction and just foment division and mistrust of law enforcement.”
There is no word on if the deputies have been suspended or placed on administrative duties while the incident is being reviewed.
While authorities review the case, Anderson’s sister Bailey has set up a GoFundMe to help with some of the medical expenses the man incurred during the violent beating and to help him pay for an attorney.
Bailey gave more details surrounding the events of that night, and how her brother felt “ambushed.”
“According to multiple witnesses, Blake was conversing with an establishment customer when the officers got out of their vehicle and proceeded to ambush him with no probable cause,” she wrote. “No name, source of identification, or justification for arrest was asked for before immediately slamming his head into a glass window.”
The sister shared with Anderson’s supporters, “prior to this incident, Blake was recovering from a ruptured right eye and finally showing signs of his sight returning. After being slammed into the window, Blake attempted to let the officers know about the current condition of his eye to no avail.”
In addition to losing his sight, Anderson also dislocated his shoulder and suffered several hematomas around his head. As a result, doctors are now saying the man’s “eye must be cosmetically removed, and a prosthetic eye should be inserted,” according to his family.
The beating and the injury came at a time that Anderson should be rejoicing. He and his longtime girlfriend are expecting a daughter within the next month. The reason he was at the club that night was to raise money to take care of their growing family.
The family hopes to raise $30,000 and in one day, they have already exceeded two-thirds of their goal.