Woman Thrown to Ground and Pepper-Sprayed by Deputy, Victim Feared for Her Life

By | August 1, 2023

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A woman who was thrown to the ground and pepper-sprayed by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy outside a Lancaster grocery store said she feared for her life. Cellphone and body-camera video of the incident has raised questions about the deputy’s tactics. The woman and her attorney are calling for the deputy to be fired and charged with battery. Sheriff Robert Luna has called the video “disturbing” and said a full investigation is underway. Community activists and residents argue that the incident reflects a pattern of violent behavior by deputies in the Lancaster area. City News Service reported

Woman Alleges Excessive Force by LA County Sheriff’s Deputy Outside Lancaster Grocery Store

Jacy Houseton claims deputy tried to kill her during confrontation

A woman who was forcefully thrown to the ground and pepper-sprayed by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy outside a Lancaster grocery store has accused the deputy of attempting to kill her. Jacy Houseton, speaking during a news conference on Monday, July 31, outside the WinCo grocery store where the incident took place on June 24, expressed her fear for her life. The confrontation was captured on cellphone and body-camera videos, which have since gone viral, raising concerns about the deputy’s tactics.

Houseton, accompanied by her attorney, Caree Harper, called for the immediate dismissal of the deputy and for charges of battery to be filed against him. Harper also emphasized that such incidents should not be tolerated, stating, “It doesn’t happen to white folks like this, and we’re not going to have it happen to Black folks like this.”

Sheriff Robert Luna has described the video footage as “disturbing” and assured that a comprehensive and unbiased investigation is underway. According to Luna, the deputies were responding to a call from an employee reporting an assault on loss-prevention employees. One of the deputies apprehended a male suspect while the other approached Houseton, who was recording the incident on her cellphone. The deputy grabbed her, forcefully threw her to the ground, and struggled to handcuff her, ultimately resorting to pepper spray.

Community activists and residents have criticized the deputies’ behavior, considering it reflective of a pattern of violence by law enforcement in the Lancaster area. The Sheriff’s Department is currently under federal oversight due to a consent decree. Additional video evidence from inside the store has shown Houseton and her companion interacting with security officers, leading to allegations of assault against them. However, Harper dismissed these allegations as an attempt to divert attention from the excessive force used in the parking lot.

Houseton and her companion were arrested and later cited and released on charges including resisting an officer, attempted petty theft, and interfering with a business. Houseton received medical treatment for her injuries, including pain from the pepper spray and a fractured arm. Sheriff Luna has urged witnesses and anyone with additional video evidence to come forward.

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