Compton city officials on Wednesday called for the removal of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies who beat a 24-year-old resident in a violent caught-on-video arrest.
The man, Dalvin Price, was lying on the ground as two deputies held him down. One deputy used his knees to restrain the young man while appearing to punch him as another deputy joins and starts kicking him, the viral May 31 video showed.
One person is heard yelling at Price to get on the ground. He’s heard yelling back that he is on the ground as they pummel him.
“I was kicked, my head was banged on the floor, nonstop, repeatedly, after I told them that I wasn’t resisting,” Price said. “They treated me like I was type of animal, like I wasn’t a human being.”
The arrest sparked calls from Compton Mayor Aja Brown for answers from the Sheriff’s Department, which the city contracts for $22 million.
“Isn’t this America? Don’t black and brown people have the right to due process? This is someone’s loved one. A human being. What if this was your child?”
The arrest took place amid massive police brutality protests throughout the county that at times were accompanied by looting and clashes with officers. Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said Price was believed to be part of a group looting at a CVS pharmacy, but that the incident remains under investigation.
“I don’t know where Devon was going or coming from. The fact is, it doesn’t even matter,” Brown said at a news conference. “He has not been charged with a crime. He has not come before a judge, nor has been sentenced for a crime. No officer has the right to render the justice site-on-hand.”
The mayor also called for equal treatment of Compton residents, nearly 30% of whom are black.
“We demand the same treatment that deputies provide to the residents of Malibu, Palos Verdes and other communities,” Brown said. “And according to the size of our sheriff’s contract, they have 22 million reasons to do so.”
The woman who caught Price’s arrest on video said she has been harassed because of it.
“Since I pressed that record button, it’s like my life has been turned upside down,” Asia Hall said. “I’m getting harassed, my son has been pulled over, me and my family are afraid to leave our home.”
Civil rights attorney Jamon Hicks demanded that the Sheriff’s Department drop any charges against Price and instead charge and fire the deputies seen beating him on video.
“Sadly, we’re here again,” he said. “Sadly, we’re dealing with the same discussions that we’ve been dealing with for years about police brutality.”
Compton City Attorney Damon Brown said the city sent a letter to the Sheriff’s Department, demanding that it removes the involved deputies from the Compton station and replace them with “officers who would treat our residents with self respect and dignity that they deserve.”
“And to this letter, we have received no response,” he said.
The Compton City Council is considering the creation of a law enforcement review board to allow residents to lodge complaints against the Sheriff’s Department.