Video shows LA County deputies placing amputee in chokehold, punching him in face

When they made contact with him, an LASD spokesperson says deputies felt a firearm and ultimately recovered a firearm.

Christiane Cordero Image
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Video shows LA County sheriff's deputy punching amputee in face
In the video, you can see one L.A. County Sheriff's deputy keeping 34-year-old Alejandro Hernandez in a chokehold. The other deputy holds one arm back then punches him in the face. An LASD spokesperson said deputies ultimately recovered a firearm.

EAST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An East Los Angeles mother wants answers after one of her sons took a video showing her other son being punched by deputies.

In the video, you can see one L.A. County Sheriff's deputy keeping 34-year-old Alejandro Hernandez in a chokehold. The other deputy holds one arm back then punches him in the face. The deputy's knuckles are covered in blood.

Hernandez is an amputee.

"He's a human being," said Gabriela Ortega, Hernandez's mother. "I understand they're doing their job, but there was no need for that brutality that they did, the beating that they gave him."

Ortega says her son was washing his truck Monday afternoon when deputies pulled up.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department says they recognized Hernandez as an active gang member.

"We try to steer our kids to the right path. Sometimes they choose the wrong path," Ortega said when asked if she knew her son was in a gang. "But now they say, 'Ok, he's a gang member,' and to them, he's always going to be a gang member."

The department says Hernandez made motions to suggest he was possibly trying to conceal something.

When they made contact with him, an LASD spokesperson says deputies felt a firearm and ultimately recovered a loaded 9mm firearm from inside his pants.

Hernandez was arrested on two pending charges: ex-felon in possession of a firearm, and battery on a police officer from allegedly resisting arrest.

"He did the crime, he did the time," Ortega said of her son's prior conviction. "But now he's been good for so long, and I don't understand why the police brutality ... why was it so necessary to beat him up like that?"

Ortega accuses deputies of harassing Hernandez leading up to this incident.

Weeks ago, a rise in complaints about harassment led the Civilian Oversight Commission to brainstorm a new policy, addressing it.

"A disciplinable offense for any deputy sheriff to harass, particularly a family member of somebody that's been killed by the sheriff's department," said Commissioner Robert Bonner at the Nov. 9 meeting.

Hernandez continues to recover from his injuries and remains in custody.

The sheriff's department has not addressed the alleged harassment in this case. It has initiated a review of the use of force.