This is the moment a group of police officers handcuffed three African American Good Samaritans who were trying to protect a liquor store from looters. The two men and a woman who stepped in to try and help one of their neighborhood businesses were restrained live on television in Van Nuys, California, on Monday evening.
One peaceful protester could be heard remonstrating with the officers and telling them they’d targeted the wrong people. She said: ‘They’re the store owners. they were protecting the store. The looters are over there. You’re losing the looters.’
The woman continued to plead with the police officer to release the store owner and the Good Samaritans, with one police officer pushing her for a description of the actual looters. She confirmed that the group of six to eight men had fled the scene in a gray car which was being pursued by police.
The wrongly-cuffed Good Samaritans were later freed. One of the three, a woman who gave her name as Monet, said trouble flared when she and her friends tried to stop a group of looters targeting a neighboring jewelry store.
Monet told Fox11 how she’d been cuffed after she and other locals tried flagging down police. She said: ‘I was handcuffed, thrown up against a wall with my husband and brother-in-law, and I’m like, “What the hell?”
‘The news people are here and telling you it’s not her, she’s trying to stop the situation.’
Despite her ordeal, Monet said she bore no ill-will towards the officer who had cuffed her, saying: ‘I get it. I understand they’re (the officers) are tired. They’re worn-out too. We’ve been worn out. I’m 55, we’re tired too.
‘The same injustice you did to us years ago, and my father and forefathers, you guys are doing to our young black men and our young black women, including Latinos.’
And she backed ongoing peaceful protests over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis – but said looting only caused further suffering to communities already facing injustice.
Monet explained: ‘I understand the protest. I understand what this is about. I get it. I understand that – I’m fighting for the same protest. But we don’t want people from other cities to come and tear (apart) where we live because we have to rebuild this. We did this once before. I understand the anger.’
Los Angeles Police Commanding Officer Andy Neiman rushed to the scene after watching the Good Samaritans get restrained live on-air. He said that misunderstandings can sometimes happen when officers arrive at an active crime scene.
Neiman said: ‘(Officers) have citizens that are flagging them down, not knowing what’s going on, and until they sort everything out, they don’t know who they’re dealing with.
‘They don’t know if they’re good guys, bad guys and so we have to get it under control first and then sort everything out.’
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