The incident happened June 24 at a WinCo in Lancaster. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to a 911 call from the grocery store. When deputies arrived, they confronted a man believed to be connected to a shoplifting case.
The man was then placed in handcuffs, but as this was happening, the deputies shifted their focus to a woman who was recording the incident on her phone. One of the deputies slammed the woman to the ground and pepper sprayed her.
The video of the deputy slamming the woman left LA County Sheriff Robert Luna calling the incident "disturbing" during a July 5 press conference. Others who saw the video, like Lancaster resident Alonzo Braggs, were also left shaken by what they watched.
"I was traumatized," Braggs said. "I became very angry. I was profoundly moved to want to take immediate action."
The demonstrators also allege the store employees called in a robbery instead of theft, so law enforcement would respond faster.
Raycine Ector, an activist, says LASD needs to hold the deputy accountable for his action.
"My plea to Luna is to remove these deputies from our community and anybody on the inside that's letting these deputies get away with these crimes against our community needs to be removed, too," Ector said. "They're not doing their jobs properly."
Luna is pleading with the public for patience as the department investigates the incident. He has not released the identities of the deputy involved in the incident, in addition to the man and woman that were detained outside the grocery store as the Sheriff explained the department is continuing investigations.
The woman who was slammed to the ground was taken to the hospital after the incident and has since been released. The woman was cited for assaulting an officer, battery on loss prevention personnel.