Flanked by his household, attorneys and activists, Blake Anderson walked slowly, painfully throughout a courtyard in Leimert Park on Friday afternoon.
Days earlier, the 24-year-old was arrested by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in an incident that he and his authorized workforce have referred to as an extreme and unprovoked assault. Now, they stated, they’re looking for justice.
“The police simply brutally attacked me for no purpose,” Anderson stated. “So I requested them, ‘What did I do? What did I do?’ As I requested once more, what did I do, they only slam my head and throw punches.”
Sporting a grey shirt and masks, Anderson rose stiffly to his ft to briefly handle a crowd of reporters. Earlier than sitting again down, he lifted up a pair of sun shades to disclose a black patch over his proper eye, which he stated he’ll lose after a recovering damage was aggravated within the violent arrest.
Anderson’s attorneys plan to file a federal civil rights lawsuit in opposition to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Division however didn’t say when as a result of they’re gathering info.
The Sheriff’s Division has stated little concerning the incident and nothing on what led deputies to make the arrest Sunday.
In a information launch Wednesday, the division stated deputies “had been concerned in a use of pressure incident with an armed suspect” in Inglewood.
The division, nonetheless, has not stated whether or not Anderson was wished in reference to any crime, whether or not there was a warrant for his arrest, or shared any particulars on why deputies moved in. He was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of ammunition, being a felon in possession of a loaded and hid firearm and assault on a peace officer with a firearm, the division stated.
In line with his attorneys, Anderson was working as a safety guard on the Good Batch Hookah Lounge in Inglewood when he was blindsided by the deputies.
The incident was captured on a bystander’s cellphone video that was later tweeted by Anderson’s lawyer Ben Crump.
The footage reveals two sheriff’s deputies grappling with Anderson. One deputy strikes Anderson within the head with an object whereas one other deputy has him in a headlock from behind, and bystanders yell on the deputies as they wrestle him to the bottom.
“Hey, he’s safety right here,” one particular person says. “He works right here. He works right here.”
“There isn’t a weapon,” one other particular person says.
One of many deputies unholsters his handgun and factors it at Anderson’s head whereas the lawmen have him pinned to the bottom. The deputy holsters the pistol a number of seconds later.
One other particular person yells out because the deputy factors the handgun at Anderson: “Blake, Blake, no Blake. … Blake, don’t resist, Blake. No, no, no. Come on. Do what you gotta do, Blake. Come on. … Don’t combat again.”
A deputy punches Anderson within the head and slams his head into the pavement as the one who was telling him not to withstand continues pleading.
The division described Anderson’s accidents as “minor,” in distinction to his and his attorneys’ accounts.
“It needs to be famous [that] suspect Anderson had a earlier traumatic damage which he sustained in an unrelated incident previous to contact with deputies,” in keeping with the division.
In a web-based fundraiser for Anderson’s medical and authorized bills, his household stated that he had been recovering from a ruptured proper eye and that his sight had proven indicators of returning.
That progress was erased when deputies slammed his head right into a window and into the bottom throughout the arrest, his attorneys stated.
Along with the harm to his eye, Anderson suffered accidents together with a dislocated shoulder and hematomas — pooling of blood exterior the blood vessel — on his head, his household stated.
In an replace to its preliminary assertion, the Sheriff’s Division stated Anderson “was on lively parole” when he was arrested and may’t legally personal or possess a firearm.
The division additionally claimed that he was not a hookah lounge worker.
“They tried to promote the concept someway we blinded him and he was working,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated in a Wednesday information convention. “No, not one of the above. That’s how activists use social media to attempt to acquire traction and simply foment division and distrust of legislation enforcement.”
Anderson was not a direct worker of the Inglewood enterprise however was employed by a safety firm, stated Jim DeSimone, one other lawyer representing Anderson.
“We don’t imagine it’s true,” DeSimone stated of Villanueva’s allegation that Anderson was not working as a safety guard and was not legally allowed to hold a firearm. “We’re nonetheless investigating that however … our consumer had an inexpensive perception that he was in lawful possession of that firearm and was provided that firearm to do his job.”
For Crump, the deputies’ actions are a part of “a sample and follow” of deputies utilizing extreme pressure in opposition to minorities.
“What we’re going to do is demand justice and accountability,” the lawyer stated. “As a result of if you happen to can’t get accountability for what we noticed on that videotape, what can Black individuals get accountability for in opposition to the Los Angeles [County] Sheriff’s Division?”
Villanueva has to talk to his deputies’ actions, Crump stated.
“We are able to’t simply have rogue officers attacking Black and brown individuals for no purpose, no justification and never letting us know why are you violating our constitutional rights,” he stated. “We’re going to face up in opposition to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Division for Blake Anderson and say — we is not going to allow you to sweep this beneath the rug.”
In an announcement, the Sheriff’s Division referred to as the deputies’ preliminary contact with Anderson and their use of pressure “regarding,” and stated the incident is beneath overview.
“Relying on the end result, correct administrative motion will outcome,” the division stated.
Within the days following his arrest, Anderson stated his life has been flung into uncertainty. His physician has stated he’ll lose his proper eye, which might be changed by a prosthetic.
He’s left questioning why deputies arrested him, what brought about them to make use of such pressure and the way he’ll be capable of present for himself and his household.
Anderson has a 5-year-old son, Jasiah, and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Leslie Macias, is because of give start to their daughter quickly.
“I’m not understanding what I’m going to have the ability to do so far as the remainder of my life,” he stated. “I simply actually pray and hope that this example can come out the most effective for me and my household.”