SAN GABRIEL, Calif. - An encounter between Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and two San Gabriel teens is going viral months later after their mother posted it on TikTok. The family's security cameras caught deputies entering the family's home while their mom watched in real-time, pleading with them through the cameras' speakers.
On Oct. 22, 2022, deputies were dispatched to a call for service at an apartment complex on Rosemead Boulevard in South San Gabriel. According to the LA County Sheriff’s Department, the caller reported there was a person screaming, arguing heard and someone being hit. Neighbors said deputies arrived and tried to open the doors to several units, but all were locked. They eventually got to Ceidy Cordova and Justin Baker’s unit, which their 19-year-old had left unlocked after returning home from the gym. Ceidy and Justin were out getting breakfast for the family.
"My daughter called us and said there’s three or four sheriffs in my living room and they’re not telling me what’s going on - Mom, you need to get here." Ceidy said. "I just dropped everything, the breakfast - (Justin) went to the car, I hopped in the car, and when she told me they were trying to grab her, I turned on that camera."
She used the cameras’ speaker function to try to talk to the deputies and explain that no parents were home. In the video, the deputies don’t seem to hear her voice, but her 19-year-old daughter gestures toward the camera suggesting that her audio was being heard. The 19-year-old was handcuffed and taken outside, where her 14-year-old brother had been detained for trying to film the encounter.
LASD officials said they were directed to an apartment where they found the door ajar. In a statement provided to FOX 11, they said:
"The deputies announced their presence and attempted to explain the nature of the call, but the occupants were uncooperative and refused to comply. After several attempts to have the occupants of the residence exit the location to ascertain if anyone was injured inside, the deputies made entry and a use of force against a juvenile occurred.
Additionally, once outside the residence, a male driver (later identified as a relative of the juvenile) was observed driving by the deputies with his cellphone in hand as he drove through a stop sign. When deputies contacted him, he was uncooperative, refused to provide his driver's license and resisted a lawful order. He was subsequently arrested. Following the detention and arrest for obstructing/resisting, both the juvenile and the stepfather reported they were not injured as a result of the incident.
The entire incident was captured on video and a thorough use of force investigation was initiated following the incident. The videos depicted on social media do not capture the complete sequence of events," the statement reads.
The teens' stepfather Justin was recording as he and Ceidy arrived at their home, and provided the video to FOX 11. They feel that his arrest was completely unwarranted.
Over the course of the last six months, the family has reached out to city and county officials and shared the video on various social media platforms in hopes of getting a response, but it wasn’t until Friday that Ceidy decided to use TikTok, where she had just seen a similar incident posted. She never imagined that the response would be so profound.
"On my lunch break I said oh, I’m going to put it on TikTok. An hour later, I see like 200 viewers, 300 viewers, 400 viewers - my phone was like gling, gling, gling, gling," she said. By Saturday, one of the posts had 8.7 million views.
"I just want justice for what they did to my kids and my husband and to me," she said. She wants her 14-year-old’s record to be cleared, counseling for the family, and an apology from the sheriff’s department.
In a GoFundMe campaign, the family said it's trying to relocate, saying they are "afraid to be in the Temple City Sheriff's jurisdiction." More information on the campaign can be found here.