A woman is being praised for filming police in the Los Angeles area as they confronted a black man with their guns drawn while he knelt over his head with his hands.
In the video, filmed in Hawthorne City on Friday, at least four policemen can be seen pointing their weapons at the person who is standing on the sidewalk, facing with his hands up from the policemen.
The event took place in Hawthorne, Los Angeles County, at a busy junction. Holsey didn’t understand why he was being arrested, but at a neighboring gas station, some 15 miles southeast of Los Angeles, police responded to a call about a theft.
The suspect, recognized as 24-year-old William Ewell by Hawthorne Police.
In the video, Holsey asks why all the policemen pull their weapons on the person, and she begins to interact with the suspect.
“I have no weapons!” the guy shouts to the police.
Holsey is heard telling Ewell to relax. “Relax. Because they will shoot you. They killed my boyfriend in 2015. Yes, he was killed by the police,” she said.
Her boyfriend, Leroy Browning, had crashed into the side of a Taco Bell and was suspected of driving under the influence. At the moment of the incident, police said Browning resisted arrest and grabbed a weapon from a deputy, prompting another deputy to open fire, according to local reports.
The police arrested Ewell after more than two minutes of filming. One policeman approached Holsey, telling her they responded to a robbery and that the suspect’s person “loosely matches the description.”
“We’re not saying he’s a suspect, but we’ve got to figure out what’s going on,” the officer told her. “It says a weapon was involved. That’s the only reason he gets held at gunpoint,” he added.
Asked if the officers ‘ actions were justified, Holsey said to HuffPost, “Absolutely not.”
“Everybody seems to ‘fit the description,’” she said. “Plus, I thought it was too excessive for that many police and the guns drawn like that.”
In a series of tweets, Rebecca Kavanagh, an attorney and media relations director of The Appeal, a criminal reform news blog, said that Holsey was “remarkable” for filming the incident.
Another suspect has also been detained and a third party is still being tried by policemen. The inquiry is underway. Holsey said she was invited to meet in July to discuss the incident with the district attorney’s office.
Many individuals drew attention to it across social media platforms after Holsey’s video went viral. Holsey got a commentary barrage— both positive and negative. Some praised her for saving the life of Ewell, others argued that the officers were not acting out of line.
Holsey said she couldn’t keep up with all the texts about the video she’s got. She said this isn’t the first time she’s recorded such an incident, and she’s happy that her post can help reveal police behavior.
“This is not a hard job. [Police officers] are supposed to be trained for this, you’re supposed to be trained to defuse the situation quickly. Because me, at the gas station, I should never have to deal with that,” she said.
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