Sheriffs Gone Wild: Woman Punched in Face on Bus, Citizen Journalist Threatened

One day after Mayor Villaraigosa’s emotional interview that described the horrors of watching his mother get beaten, a YouTube video has surfaced showing an L.A. County Sheriff punching a woman in the face on board a Metro Bus.  The officer did this knowingly in view of a man recording the incident on his camera phone and then proceeded to attempt to intimidate the man into handing over the phone.

The woman is still in custody, undergoing a psychiatric screening after witnesses claimed she behaved aggressively and escalated the incident by shoving the police.  Witnesses also say that the woman had entered the bus a stop earlier and gave no signs of trouble before the Sheriffs entered the bus.

NBC L.A. has a full response by Sheriff Lee Baca.  At this point, Metro has yet to release a statement and The Source hasn’t mentioned the incident.  The officer’s conduct is under investigation.  Streetsblog will stay on top of this story moving forward.

  • Derrick28

    Yeah Rite!!! When they say they will look into it. That just means they’re not going to do shit about it!

  • BRU is not good for you

    Looks like your typical BRU member riding the metro homeless chariot.  Punching is not called for but this is what the BRU is advocating.  More buses with homeless people causing problems.

  • Urban Reason

    This story neglects to mention the fact that a passenger had already called 9-11 to report someone on the bus physically threatening all of the passengers.

    I’ve been on the bus a time or two when a mentally ill passenger was violently intimidating other riders, and it’s terrifying. If that was the case, I don’t think I have a problem with what happened here. I’m strongly against abuse of power – like the pepper spraying incidents at UCD – but based on the evidence I don’t think that’s what happened here. 

    The cop was trying to protect all the passengers who weren’t threatening each other – he hit her one time to subdue her in a very controlled manner, and carefully cradled her head to make sure she didn’t hit the wall. He didn’t pulverize her or continue hitting her. I say leave this guy alone.

  • Anonymous

     So, did the Sheriff(s) take any steps to validate the call?  Did they contact the complainant to see if he/she was actually on the bus?  No, they went in and grabbed the lady (who had just boarded and was being quiet according to the videographer) based solely on the telephone call.

    Good police work there, Lou!

  • Even if the woman had threatened (physically? verbally?) passengers, the police need to use reasonable, minimal force necessary to deal with the woman. This was not the case. Excessive force not justified.


Friday Poll Day: Guess the Sheriff’s Punnishment

The day after video surfaced of an L.A. County Sheriff punching a woman in the face while his partner restrained her on a Metro Bus, the story had been told around the world.  Strong arm of the law: Video shows shocking moment cop punches woman, screamed the headline of the Daily Mail in England.  LA […]