U.S. Marshal Smashes Eyewitness' Cell Phone

Beatriz Paez says she was doing nothing wrong taking video of U.S. Marshal executing warrants on San Juan Avenue Sunday. She saw people in handcuffs. "Around 8 people including women were held at gunpoint on their stomachs with their hands held behind their back," says Paez. But, when one marshal saw her recording, "He told me that I had to go. And, I told him I had the right to film and he said I was interfering with their investigation and I told them that I was on a public sidewalk and I had the right to film them."

That's when a neighbor recorded Paez's cell phone being taken and smashed. Colleen Flynn, Paez's attorney says "My client's rights were violated. Her constitutional rights. Everyone has the right to videotape and document police activity in public."

Paez says "I felt assaulted. "He was huge. He had a vest on and I only had my phone and I'm recording his face and up to that point now I turn to protect my phone because this is all I had and he took it away from me and and slammed it... I feel terrified... I'm scared but at the same time I'm telling him you don't do that."

Paez is planning legal action, but has a simple question for the marshal in the video

"I would want to know he was thinking to do that to someone. Why would he do that?"

The only reaction from the U.S. Marshals Service is this statement:

"The U.S. Marshals Service is aware of video footage of an incident that took place Sunday in Los Angeles County involving a Deputy U.S Marshal. The agency is currently reviewing the incident."

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