Protesters who marched in SoCal demonstrations say they were treated poorly after arrest

They share similar stories of mass arrests, starting with confusion over curfews and then getting boxed in by police while peacefully protesting.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Many peaceful protesters who marched at demonstrations earlier this week in Southern California are now speaking out and tell ABC7 they were treated poorly after being arrested.

They share similar stories of mass arrests, starting with confusion over curfews and then getting boxed in by police while peacefully protesting over the weekend.

"...Pushing all of us back. We were initially right here. They just kept forcing us back," said Cheyenne Robinson who was arrested while protesting.

Some describe being placed in caged spaces for hours.

"Coronavirus was already out the door. The cops didn't care anything about separating us," said Alejandro Velasquez who was arrested while protesting.

Robinson and Velasquez were arrested by Santa Monica police. Laura Montilla was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department.

"Maybe they might not let them go to the bathroom but this woman is literally having a panic attack. She is not OK and us asking for medical help and a cop coming on and being like 'oh you want help' and just turning on the music so loud," said Montilla.

On Instagram she details an officer reaching for a gun while she was in zip ties.

"I slightly stand up and he immediately like grabs his gun, and he's like, 'ma'am, you need to sit down' and just starts yelling," said Montilla.

She says her groin area was checked more than her pockets and that she and others were dropped off in Westwood in the middle of the night.

"I was like, is there any way I can like charge my phone, can I like borrow a phone call, and the officer was like, 'no, sorry, you're gonna have to figure it out for yourself.'"

Robinson is heard sobbing after she says a police officer cut her and several others while removing zip ties

"They gave me 21 stitches," Robinson said.

Santa Monica Police Department sent ABC7 a statement on Friday, which said, in part:

"We are aware of the woman who was accidentally cut on the hand while our personnel were removing the handcuffs. The Santa Monica Police Department requested paramedics who rendered aid to the female at the scene. We places the very highest value on the safety of our citizens, as well as everyone who visits our city. Our focus on public safety is at the center of our decision making every day. We are committed to a thorough review of the events of May 31 to learn and make sure this never happens again."

The protesters want the focus to remain on why people are protesting.

"By no means is it like the level of what the black community has faced and is facing," said Montilla.

"It was worth me fighting for the injustice of black lives. It was worth supporting the movement. It was worth it and I would do it again," said Velasquez.

Gov. Gavin Newsom directs California police officers to stop training use of carotid chokehold
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"At the end of the day, the carotid hold that literally is designed to stop people's blood from flowing into their brain. That has no place any longer in 21st century practices," Newsom said.

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