Caught on video: LA County deputy throws woman to ground outside grocery store in Lancaster

Leo Stallworth Image
Tuesday, July 4, 2023
Deputy throws woman to ground outside store in Lancaster
An investigation is underway after a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was caught on camera throwing a woman to the ground outside a store in Lancaster.

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- An investigation is underway after a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was caught on camera throwing a woman to the ground outside a store in Lancaster.

The incident happened on June 24 outside the WinCo grocery store. The department says deputies were apprehending a man and woman accused of shoplifting inside the store.

In the cell phone video, the deputy was placing handcuffs on a man before approaching a woman who was recording the encounter.

The woman told the deputy not to touch her before he grabbed her and slammed her onto the ground. The man who was being arrested then yelled 'Don't slam her down like that' and said that the woman has cancer.

As the deputy struggled to cuff the woman on the ground, another person recording the incident yelled for the deputy to stop.

"I was disheartened. That could've been my grandmother, my aunt, my sister. As you see, the lady in the video was just simply recording her husband's interaction with the deputies and they came over and attacked her. I would say attack - he grabbed her by her neck and slung her down," said Raycine Ector.

An activist group called Cancel the Contract, which calls for resources to be diverted from law enforcement and into communities of color, is organizing a rally outside of the store on Wednesday to demand that the department fire the deputies seen in the video.

Raquel Derfler with the group said it's unthinkable that they were alleged to have stolen a cake.

"That was the allegation - that they had shoplifted a cake. So let me be clear, nothing has been proven, but it was alleged... and that's how they came in hot like that, as though they were brandishing firearms or attacking or assaulting members of the community when it was simply a cake."

Activists say the video simply shows deputies out of control.

"The point is you see two senior citizens and you are acting like you are in fear of your life. You see their whole person, you see their whole body. You see her hands up video-taping - she is of no threat, but he walks over, grabs her by the neck, slams her to the ground, puts his knee there and this ground is hot," said Waunette Callors.

WinCo has not responded to a request for comment.

The department issued the following statement on the use of force incident:

"The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has opened an investigation into this incident. While the Department does not make statements related to ongoing investigations, Sheriff Luna has made it clear that he expects Department personnel to treat all members of the public with dignity and respect, and that personnel who do not uphold our training standards will be held accountable. In the interest of transparency with our community, the Sheriff's Department is releasing body-worn camera video from the incident."