A Black man shown on video being brutalized by two deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is facing a charge of assault on a police officer—even though Blake Anderson, the man who was beaten, ended up losing sight as a result of his injuries, an investigative journalist reported.
A 91-second video shared by journalist Cerise Castle showed one deputy wrapping an arm around the neck of the security guard, identified by Castle as Blake Anderson, while another deputy punched Anderson in the face. The law enforcement officers took turns wrestling and grabbing Anderson, piling on top of him, and eventually handcuffing the man while a crowd of onlookers screamed in terror on Sunday outside of Anderson’s job at the Good Batch hookah lounge.
“Multiple times during this video, the deputy puts a gun to Blake’s head,” Castle tweeted early Wednesday. “Blake told me he at this point the deputy said to him, ‘I’m going to blow your (f–king) brains out.”
One of the deputies even pointed a gun at the crowd watching, Castle reported.
Warning: Videos and images in this story contain graphic depictions of police brutality that may be triggering to viewers.
She also shared a video from a nearby business that showed deputies pulling into the parking lot, jumping out, and attacking Anderson “as he walked with a friend.”
According to a GoFundMe campaign organized by the victim’s brother, Bailey Anderson, Blake Anderson “sustained multiple injuries, including a dislocated shoulder, several hematomas around his head, and, worst of all, the sight improvement in his right eye has now deteriorated. Doctors say the eye must be cosmetically removed, and a prosthetic eye should be inserted.”
It’s unclear why the sheriff’s deputies even responded to the location, which, according to Castle, fell outside of the sheriff’s department’s jurisdiction.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LACSD), the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and the Inglewood Police Department did not immediately respond to Daily Kos requests for comment.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department isn’t exactly a stranger to allegations of excessive force or wider-reaching claims of corruption.
Malik Aaron, a teenager at the time, was with friends doing little more than observing an alleged crime at a California Target store last January, when he was pushed against a counter and thrown into a police car, with a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy closing the door on his feet, the child’s mother told The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Sal “Chuck” Becerra, of the Lost Hills Station, admitted that the teens were not involved in the alleged crime but also said an internal investigation found that deputies didn’t use excessive force, according to the Ventura County Star.
In another case dating back to July 3, 2022, the LACSD refused to cooperate with a county investigation into an alleged history of misconduct with the sheriff’s department. That investigation stemmed from leaked surveillance video showing two sheriff’s department deputies beating an inmate who didn’t appear to be doing anything wrong.
And even more recently, the sheriff’s department took to Facebook to defend itself after Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Joseph Garrido filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging he was targeted at work as punishment for donating to the campaign of a political opponent of Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
Garrido helped bring to light a plot from sheriff’s officials to withhold bonuses from “deputies with special training in explosives,” the Los Angeles Times reported. The allegations ended in the county awarding more than $3 million in owed pay.
Garrido also said he attracted attention to the death of a police dog left in a car for more than four hours, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Vince Miller, Garrido’s attorney, told the newspaper the sheriff is intentionally targeting his client with bogus investigations.
“He’s forcing out somebody, ending someone’s career, destroying their reputation because they’re exercising their free speech rights,” Miller said.
The attorney is representing more than 12 employees with the sheriff’s department in lawsuits against their employer, the newspaper reported.
The sheriff’s department, however, laid all the blame at Garrido’s feet in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “Absent from this lawsuit is any explanation as to why Mr. Garrido supposedly witnessed misconduct, yet took no action for years until after he was under investigation,” the department wrote in the post. “Although we look forward to challenging these lies in the proper venue, a court of law, we will address one of these blatant and demonstrably false lies now.”
It’s unclear what “lies” the sheriff’s department sought to address, but a department memorandum it linked to regarding the death of the police dog, ‘Spike,’ on Sept. 29, 2020, verified the claim that the dog was left inside of a police car and overheated.
The dog’s death seemed to be a trigger for the department representative who took to Facebook. “Among the many false statements contained within this lawsuit, we will focus on the tragic death of a Department K-9 named ‘Spike,’” the representative wrote.
Meanwhile, the sheriff’s department didn’t devote so much as a statement about the video showing its deputies beating Anderson.
I guess we’ll just have to keep waiting on the sheriff’s publicly expressed outrage about a Black man brutalized by deputies.
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