A longtime Compton resident and community leader is pursuing legal action against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after he was mistakenly detained by deputies.
Derrick Cooper has spent years working with children in the community through his youth academy, but he is now fearful of living at his home due to deputies wrongfully detaining him at gunpoint at 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
“I felt like a runaway slave, and this is no drama,” Derrick Cooper said at a news conference on Friday.
Cooper feels “humiliated” and that “his rights were violated” when deputies allegedly forced him to exit his home naked from the waist down.
“[I asked] ‘Can I at least put on some underwear or a towel, or something to cover myself,’ and they said no,” Cooper said.
According to Cooper’s legal team, there were no warrants or complaints against him. They believe that deputies had the wrong address. Cooper alleges he was forced to sit half-naked in the back of a patrol car for 20 minutes before deputies apologized and released him.
Cooper’s legal team announced the first step of a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department at a news conference on Friday.
“The intentional infliction of emotional distress, the emotional and psychological distress and trauma that is suffered by Mr. Cooper is something that will be addressed in court,” said Cooper’s attorney Jaaye Pearson-Lynn.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said in an email to KTLA that they are still investigating a burglary in the area and that once they were able to determine Cooper wasn’t a suspect, they let him go.