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Crime & Justice

Sheriffs will investigate video of deputies striking female bus rider

Screenshot via NBC

A Monday night confrontation on a Bellflower bus involving L.A. County sheriff’s deputies and a woman with a violent history, was recorded by a passenger, and has led to a "use of force" investigation.

Passenger Jermaine Green, who filmed the incident on his cell phone, said deputies boarding the vehicle called the woman by name and instructed her to get off the bus before becoming "combative," NBC reported

"They said get off the bus. She then started cursing at her you could tell she had special needs. After that, they grab her, she curses him out, calls him a big shot, next thing you know, he gives her a big shot," said Green.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told KPCC, "We got a 911 call indicating that there was violent woman on the bus who was about to, or tried to, attack an elderly man. She was violent and out of control," he stated.

The woman, whose name was not released, had been arrested previously four times, and convicted, of assaulting a police officer. Use of force was undertaken on the bus "when she acted in an aggressive vocal manner towards our deputies," said Whitmore. She was put on a 72-hour hold for psychological evaluation. 

Green, a veteran recently returned from six years in the Army, claims deputies attempted to intimidate him when he refused to hand over his cell phone. "He comes to me and says you can be under arrest if you don't give me that video," he said.

Whitmore addressed the claim, saying, "The individual who took the cell phone video also made allegations and we are aware of them and will investigate them as well." 

Earlier television and online reports stated the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department did not have interest in viewing the video. Whitmore told KPCC that assertion was "unequivocally incorrect," and that he reached out to the NBC reporter asking for the video last night "specifically because investigators wanted to look at it."

"We take this very seriously," said Whitmore. "The investigation is being monitored by Internal Affairs and the Office of Independent Review. We will get to the bottom of this," he said.