Nowadays citizens are making sure they’re armed with a cellphone and ready to point and shoot video when coming in contact with law enforcement. But what happens when you come in contact with the wrong one?
A California woman whose cellphone was snatched and kicked by a deputy U.S. Marshal while she was recording law enforcement officers detaining several people plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the officers and the city, her attorney said Monday.
According to Beatriz Paez, the marshal threw her phone on the ground and stomped on it while she was filming him in the South Gate area on Sunday.
Paez said she saw the officer and others officers pointing their guns at men who were lying on the ground. Another pedestrian captured the incident with their own cell phone camera.
“I thought he was going to beat me up,” Paez said. “He yanked it and then he threw it on the ground. He stomped on my phone with his boots several times until he destroyed it.”
“It was despicable. It was uncalled for. As soon as… when he snatched the phone away from her it actually startled me I got scared, I had to stop recording because… it was just too scary,” She said. “This is a big man coming towards you with a big gun. It’s scary.”
Paez’s attorney, Colleen Flynn, said she plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.
“There was some police activity going on,” Flynn said. “My client was in no way interfering with that police activity. As long as you’re not interfering, you absolutely have a right to film police in public.”