The video from Monday shows a LASD vehicle pull up near the group in a residential neighborhood, followed by the pepper balls being fired.
The skateboarders, ranging in ages 16 to 24, had attended a protest in Hollywood and say they were trying to figure out a way home, which was made more difficult by the curfew. That's when the sheriff's deputies shot the pepper balls at them, which are filled with pepper spray.
"They stick their guns out the window and we take off. There was no 'stop' or 'you're under arrest.' There was nothing, they just started firing at us," said Dominick Armstrong, who was shot by the pepper balls.
The video has gone viral, with rapper Lil Nas X tweeting the video to his nearly five million followers and commenting, "this is why we need to push as hard as ever this time."
Disoriented, some scraped up, good Samaritan Noah McBeth saw the group of eight outside his apartment and went to help them when he says another LASD vehicle passed.
"They were just sitting on the grass and wondering what to do," McBeth said. "A cop drove past us and through the intercom said 'you're next.' They were all limping. They were all exhausted, shocked that they were shot at and pursued for not doing anything."
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he's aware of the videos and that all use of force incidents will be thoroughly investigated to examine the tactics and policies and procedures.
In his statement, Villanueva says the incident is another example of why the L.A. County Board of Supervisors should fund the LASD body-worn camera project.
I am aware of 2 videos circulating on social media involving my deputies. As with all use of force incidents, these cases will be thoroughly investigated, and we will also examine the tactics, policies & procedures. pic.twitter.com/7lvw6jwnwH— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) June 3, 2020