A viral video that showed deputies pointing their weapons at a group of Black teenagers who called for help after they were allegedly attacked by a homeless man wielding a knife is being investigated by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
According to Tammi Collins, the mother of one of the teenagers, multiple witnesses contacted police after seeing the three boys attacked by the homeless man. The incident began at around 5 p.m. Friday afternoon in Santa Clarita when the man allegedly asked the teens if they "had any crack." When they ignored him, the homeless man took out a knife and a whip and tried to take their things. The teenagers used their skateboards to cover them from the knife and whip, Collins said.
When sheriff's deputies arrived on scene, video shows the responding officers pointing their guns at the teenagers, who had their hands in the air. Witnesses try telling the responding deputies that the teenagers were actually the victims in the attack, but they were ignored.
“It's the other guy!'' one woman is heard repeating to the deputies. “Put your guns down, they're kids, they weren't doing anything,'' another woman said.
“I am the one who called you. It was not them,'' said another.
The witnesses call out to the teens to tell them to keep their hands up.
Deputies told the bystanders at the scene to back up, while at least one of the teens is detained by deputies. The video posted by Collins had more than 3 million views by Monday afternoon.
Sheriff's Alex Villanueva said Monday that he saw the video and that he had "concerns" regarding the tactics used by deputies when they arrived on scene.
“I have seen the recent video involving a Santa Clarita incident which has gone viral and I have concerns regarding the tactics employed,'' Villanueva said in a video on Twitter Monday afternoon. “The matter is currently being investigated.''
Collins posted the video on her Instagram on Saturday and it was circulated widely on Twitter.
“This is something my son and his friends will never forget,'' Collins wrote in her post. “I'm still wonder(ing) how will I ever help my son recover from this traumatic experience. Please pray for my family.''