The Los Angeles Times reports that video captured at least one of six Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies beating a suspected DUI motorist in Palmdale on the afternoon of Saturday, August 28, 2021.
The video footage, taken by an eyewitness at the scene, was later uploaded to social media. The incident happened at approximately 5:15 p.m. in the parking lot of a liquor store in the 3800 block of 35th Street in Antelope Valley.
Because of the use of what seems to be excessive use of force to arrest 35-year-old Samuel Chavez Reyes, some area residents are outraged. The LACSD has declined to release much information about the incident. Officials say that they will be investigating the amount of force used to arrest the suspect.
In a statement, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office says that Reyes is facing two misdemeanor counts of resisting an executive officer.
The two-minute, 40-second long video shows Reyes lying on the ground by the driver’s side of his vehicle on the pavement and surrounded by six Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies. One deputy can be seen kneeling on Reyes and punching him repeatedly.
The video ends with Reyes being taken away; three of the six deputies are bound at his feet. Reyes’ clothing was torn and his trousers pulled down.
Richard McGuire, who took the video, said he didn’t see anything that would explain why the LACSD deputy would have needed to strike the suspect repeatedly. A family member of Reyes later told L.A. Times reporters that most of the blows hit his head.
Miguel Coronado, Chairperson for Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, said that he is utterly disgusted by what the video shows. “This behavior is unacceptable,” Coronado said. “These deputies are a threat to the safety of the community.”
The incident is currently under investigation.