Family and community members peacefully marched along Compton Boulevard on Sunday to raise awareness and demand justice for a coach after he was wrongfully detained. The community is hoping that the march will help prevent this from happening to others.
Youth community leader, mentor, and coach Derrick Cooper was detained inside his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in April.
Cooper says he was forced to leave his home, while naked from the waist down, and detained in a police car for nearly 20 minutes before he was finally released.
“I’ve worked in Compton literally half my life and I’ve been victimized twice and I’m tired,” Cooper said. “I was able to live through this last ordeal when they broke into my building. I’m in the bed sleep and they woke me up with guns and put a flashlight in my face. Me, the citizens, my brothers and my sisters, we’re tired. This has been going across the country forever and today we start now.”
He along with other community members want city officials and law enforcement to take accountability.
“Today is a very important day,” Cooper said. “I was violated, I’m not the only person in this city that’s been violated and we want answers and accountability, starting with the L.A. County Sheriffs.”
Cooper says he still has not received any answers from authorities about why this happened.
“Let’s sit down, let’s talk about it,” Cooper continued. “Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else in our community. Zero word from them and this is why we’re marching and we’ll continue to march until our voices are heard.”
Cooper’s attorney, Jaaye Person-Lynn says the police did not have a warrant and he believes they came to the wrong address.
“No matter what, there’s only 3 instances that get law enforcement into a home, and that’s consent, a warrant, or exigent circumstances,” he said. “None of those were present.”
Cooper’s legal team announced the first step in a lawsuit that they’re filing against LASD.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released a statement regarding the incident that read in part:
“On April 18, 2023, approximately at 4:00 a.m., Compton Station deputy personnel were dispatched to an Attempted Burglary call nearby the LA Wildcats Youth Facility. While searching for the suspect, Mr. Derrick Cooper was detained inside of the Wildcat Youth Facility. After it was determined Mr. Cooper was not a suspect, he was released several minutes after the contact. Compton Station is thoroughly investigating the incident.”