Excessive Force? Viral Videos Sometimes Deceiving
Los Angeles – A cell phone video of an LAPD arrest on Tuesday quickly went viral as the person who shot the video remarked that it looked like excessive force because the woman they were arresting was unarmed and compliant. Numerous officers showed up and had her surrounded, but she “looked like the most nice person.” Looks are most definitely deceiving. Turned out she was wanted for kidnapping and various other felonies.
“So this happened today in Inglewood. The police stopped this woman and drew guns out at her even though (clear as day) she had nothing in her hands. pic.twitter.com/yUAdimc2hC
— ricky🚧 (@x__ricardo) July 2, 2018”
Amber Neal was arrested on Tuesday after she and two others kidnapped two people, stole a woman’s Lexus, and forced the owner to write her a check for $10,000, according to the New York Daily News. The kidnapping occurred in 2017, and according to the Grand Jury indictment, Amber Neal, Keith Andre Stewart and Johntae Jones were the suspects. Stewart allegedly pistol whipped the male and held him in a bathtub for 30 hours. The two kidnap victims were two actors, Daisy McCrackin and Joseph Capone.
The New York Daily News article noted:
“In the grand jury indictment unsealed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Stewart, Jones and Neal were collectively charged with 17 felony counts, including kidnapping, assault with a firearm, grand theft, mayhem, conspiracy and possession for sale of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.”
“Ricky” has removed the series of tweets now that the truth is out.
Then there was the case in Austin, Texas, where a bystander filmed part of an arrest and assumed it was also excessive force. Once again just because a video goes viral doesn’t mean the narrative behind it is correct. Patrick King tweeted:
Last night I was out with some friends in Austin and witnessed police brutality first hand for the first time. It’s a different feeling when you see it on tv or all over the internet than when you actually witness it happening no less than 10 feet in front of you. @Austin_Police pic.twitter.com/MEXc1l5OtS
— Patty (@YingYangPK) July 4, 2018
Officers had been called to a bar reference a man with a knife that was threatening the manager. Police were told that 23 year old Justin Grant was refused entry into a nightclub because he was too intoxicated.
Blue lives Matter reported,
He said Grant grabbed him by the arm tightly, pulled him in close to his face and told the manager to let him into the bar or something bad would happen. The affidavit said Grant reportedly motioned toward a knife worn on his waistband, according to KVUE.
Grant left the club before officers arrived; however, a disturbance broke out at the bar next door while the officers were interviewing Rain’s manager, and it turned out to be the same guy.
Police said that when they initially approached Grant, the shirtless man was having an altercation with a woman named Alexandria Green.
Grant was pointing at Green “directly in her face, appearing to be in some sort of disturbance,” the affidavit said.
Green suddenly switched sides and began attempting to intervene by pulling on an officer’s body armor. Bar staff held Green back while officers attempted to arrest Grant, but she continued to attempt to intervene. That’s where the video began. No backstory. No knowledge of what led up to the incident. The police struggled with Grant because he kept attempting to get to his waistband where the knife was positioned.
Context is everything
These two incidents are cases in point. Without context, the snippets of video that appear on social media do not show the full picture. Some are extemely clear as to the incident, and those are often used as evidence in a court. But videos that are taken in the middle of a situation…not so much.