LANCASTER (CBSLA) — Cellphone video captured the moment a Black man was arrested and held to the ground with a gun to his head.
The incident drew outrage in an Antelope Valley community and has led to a call to action.
A group of community members and activists gathered outside the L.A. County Sheriff’s Lancaster station on Friday to protest the April 30 arrest of 22-year-old Kennathan Williams.
Deputies say they saw Williams selling drugs and noticed he had a loaded gun and extra ammunition.
They chased him to a Lancaster gas station, where he surrendered, but while he was on the ground one deputy was recorded holding a gun to his head, while. group of onlookers shouted.
“I just thought at any moment this man on top of this other man could’ve easily pulled the trigger and we’d be saying something different. It’s very reminiscent of George Floyd,” said pastor and activist Brian Johnson.
Demonstrators are calling for the deputy-involved to be fired.
“When I see that video I see myself, I see my brother. I see my dad. I see people whom I care about,” said one student demonstrator.
Late Friday, the department said they don’t teach deputies to behave in that manner, acknowledging the deputy may have gone too far.
Community members at the demonstration said they want more done; some say protests have become too commonplace.
“I knew that we were going to have a protest in reaction to this because that’s what we do with every incident but that’s the thing it’s become a procedure,” said student Giovanni Christon Pope.
Demonstrators are also calling for the cancellation of the L.A. County Sheriff’s contract with the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale.
LASD says they are reviewing details regarding the tactics that were used in the deputy’s arrest.