LOS ANGELES, Ca. (KSLA) - A mother and father are demanding answers after their 18-year-old son and his friend were detained and handcuffed in Los Angeles following a license plate/ tag mix up. The incident happened around 1 a.m. Sunday, August 2 in the city’s West Valley neighborhood.
According to Sgt. Richard Duran, Watch Commander for the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Valley Community Police Station, officers advised the driver about a possible error because it looked like someone put the wrong plate on the car.
He told the mother and Journalist Danielle Scruggs that typically when they get behind a car and the license plate doesn’t match it’s considered a cold plated vehicle; possibly a stolen car.
Their policy is to do a high risk stop because stolen cars are often linked to violence and can turn into pursuits. “It’s the safest way for everyone involved,” he added.
Duran says they”ll get back up, the helicopter and a supervisor, then the occupants have to get out of the car and down into the street.
“In this case it ended up just being a mistake.”
They can be heard crying and screaming as officers stand with their back to the camera. A woman on the other side of the car is shown being led away in handcuffs.
”LAPD used excessive force by handcuffing my child face down in the street with a knee to his back for NO REASON! MULTIPLE officers on the scene with weapons drawn on him for NO REASON! Seeing him walking in the middle of the street with his hands up KNOWING this could have ended another way is disturbing and I am FURIOUS. Helicopters? For what?! All for you to let him go. The young lady, who was the driver of the car, also did not deserve to be manhandled excessively. I am so proud of the both of them for remaining calm during such a traumatic event. This was a racially motivated violation of his rights,” his mom wrote.
Duran said a high risk stop can sometimes get excessive. They place their knee on someone’s back so they can’t roll over and start fighting.
”In this case there was no crime or grand theft auto.”
Their son is a 2020 high school graduate, who will start college in a few weeks.
”They asked him if he was in a gang and does he go by any other names. No. As a matter of fact he doesn’t. He goes by his given birth name. Green is his favorite color (like me) he likes anime and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, he’s a movie buff, a skater and has year round allergies, two dimples in his cheeks when he smiles and he’s MY CHILD. And a good kid that did not deserve what you did to him.”
Her son apologized to her and she let him know that he didn’t do anything wrong.
”You did everything right. And the people that are supposed to serve and protect you did EVERYTHING WRONG. I thank God for the woman that recorded this. I thank God that my son is here today.”
According to the mom, another sergeant with the department, told her this is their procedure, until their training changes. She says he also added that officers did their jobs and two kids made it home alive.
Sgt. Megan Glaister apologized to the mom and advised her that this traffic stop is under investigation.
The family does not wish to be identified at this time.