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Check the Sheriff: A History of Misconduct within the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department

There is an egregious amount of misconduct that occurs within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. This article dives into experiences individuals within the Santa Clarita Valley community have had regarding Los Angeles Sheriffs, the long history of corruption within the department, along with how these wrongdoings impact our economy in rather harmful ways.

Contract Cities and Claims Payments

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is the largest Sheriff’s department in the world. They provide law enforcement services to 42 contract cities — one of which being Santa Clarita. According to the city budget for fiscal year 2021-2022, The city of Santa Clarita allocated $30,480,842 to Police Services; an increase of $2,000,000 from the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

The city paid $25,545,186 in general law services — the total cost of LASD's services consisting of all the services and line items in the Contract Rate Card — plus a liability surcharge on top of this, totaling $2,728,049 (under Claims Payment). This liability charge is used to pay for litigation and settlements, including those stemming from police shootings and deputy misconduct.

The liability surcharge increases yearly — as more and more cases of police misconduct occur. This can be seen in the table below:

SCV General Law and Claims Payments from City Budgets

Fiscal Year

General Law Services

Claims Payment










The General Law Services cost remained relatively consistent over the past few years, as the Claims Payment, or liability cost, increased by about $50,000 to $100,000 each year.

In fiscal year 2019-2020, Los Angeles County’s legal bills jumped from $148.5 million (FY 2018-2019) to $151.9 million due to an increase in lawsuit costs. According to County Counsel Rodrigo A. Castrol-Silva’s report to the Board of Supervisors, the county paid $87.6 million in judgments and settlements overall. $21.9 million in legal costs came from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

Of the 2,389 settlements, there were nine that totaled over $2 million each.

According to the County Counsel Annual Litigation report, some of the largest legal costs included a $3 million payout from a 2017 incident where deputies fired at 17-year-old Palmdale resident Armando Garcia’s pitbull — the bullet ricocheted and Garcia was struck in the chest and killed. The next largest payout was a $2.25 million settlement over the 2011 wrongful arrest and prosecution of Abraham Rueda.

The question is — why would a city continue to contract these police officers when they have continuously exhibited misconduct, such as unlawful arrests, racial profiling, discrimination, harassment and police brutality? The Sheriffs are costing us. These all-too-common instances lead to an increase in the overall cost of our contract, which, in turn, takes funds from our tax dollars away from more valuable services that would benefit our community.

Santa Clarita is home to the Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center. Pitchess was the 28th Sheriff of Los Angeles County in 1958, who introduced policies that “drove disproportionate violence towards Black and Latinx communities, and whose legacies persist today: billy clubs, helicopters, freeway pursuits, and the County’s first SWAT team” (“The Protected Class” by Cerise Castle). Pitchess was also the Sheriff during the Chicano Moratorium, the largest anti-war protest organized by people of color. During this protest, LASD deputies pushed through the protest, calling it an “unlawful assembly,” beating protesters, arresting over 150 people and killing four individuals.

After this incident, Pitchess stated, “there was absolutely no misconduct on the part of the deputies involved [in the incident] or the procedures they followed.” Three years later, it was acknowledged by department management that members of the first deputy gang, the Little Devils, allegedly inflicted violence on these demonstrators during the Chicano Moratorium protest.

LASD Gangs

There are at least 18 deputy gangs within the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department — the Executioners, the Reapers, the Banditos, and more. According to a report conducted by RAND Corporation for the county government, nearly one in six deputies have been asked to join a “subgroup,” or gang.

Over $55 million have been paid out by the Los Angeles County since 1990 for LASD “subgroup related judgments,” $21 million of this being from the last ten years (“subgroup” is the term that the Sheriff’s use when referring to deputy gangs as to avoid calling them what they are).

These gangs continuously glorify and reward police shootings and misconduct. According to a report by the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy at Loyola Marymount University Law School, “The Executioners host ‘998 parties’ at bars to celebrate deputy shootings. The Vikings and other current deputy gangs reward members who shoot people by allowing them to ‘enhance’ their common tattoo with additional symbols or ‘embellishments,’ such as adding smoke coming out of the firearm. The Jump Out Boys planned to memorialize deputy shootings by entering the member’s name, tattoo number, and the date of the shooting in a ceremonial ‘black book.’ Deputy gang members who worked inside the jail assaulted inmates in order to earn their ink, causing significant spikes in the use of force, especially on floors under their control. These rituals create a culture of celebrating the use of lethal force in the line of duty.”

These gangs have existed within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department for over 50 years, continuing unchecked.

Read the 15-part investigative series by Cerise Castle that sparked the 2022 internal investigation of LASD gangs here.

Click here for a searchable database of known associates of deputy gangs in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Alex Villanueva is the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles County, who ran for LA County Sheriff with campaign promises of extensive reforms to LASD, gaining the support of many community groups and activists. However, Villanueva has blatantly contradicted his promises, reinstating the very deputy gang members he promised to root out, perpetuating codes of silence in regards to gang activity and affiliation, thus allowing the behavior to continue unchecked, and going as far as to send a cease-and-desist to the Board of Supervisors to refrain from calling deputy gangs what they are — gangs. He claims that using this term is “defamation of character,” but how can one defame the character of a historically corrupt and oppressive Sheriff’s department?

Villanueva promised to “root out cronyism,” yet he reinstated and rehired members of deputy gangs — such as Rafael Munoz, the leader of the deputy gang Banditos, who was previously fired for a domestic violence incident. Villanueva was his training officer. He claims that he trained all of his deputies, including Munoz, to act with dignity and respect.

After Munoz returned in 2017, the Banditos culture became increasingly violent.

Banditos were able to control the East LA station by forcing deputies to conform to their culture, where deputies would arrest civilians and plant evidence to come up with probable cause after arrests had been made. Any officers that did not follow this culture would be targeted, threatened, refused backup, harassed, and/or beaten. No consequences.

The Banditos also sexually harassed women working at the East LA station. Concepcion Hernandez Garcia was training to be a patrol deputy in March 2018, and her training officer was Bandito member Deputy David Silverio. Garcia was sexually harassed and intimidated throughout her training, as Silverio would touch her hands, breasts and hips without consent. Garcia filed a complaint. The department placed her on administrative leave. Silverio remained at the East LA station.

On September 28 of 2018, a department party was held at Kennedy Hall to celebrate completion of training for East LA officers. Sheriff Alex Villanueva was in attendance.

As the party was coming to a close and Villanueva had left, Deputy Alfred Gonzales was met in the parking lot by Bandito member Deputy David Silverio. Silverio and another Bandito member, Sergeant Mike Hernandez, confronted Gonzales on the grounds that he “had no respect,” saying, “I have no problem fucking with you and your family and if I can’t do it directly I can find someone that can.”

Other deputies temporarily diffused the situation, but around 3:30 a.m., Rodriguez returned saying he wanted to speak with Gonzales.

According to a piece by Cerise Castle, “The Pink Hand, Big Listo, and Crook,” “Deputy Jose Fuentes approached and tried to calm Rodriguez down, but Rodriguez got in his face, bumping his forehead against Fuentes’. Rodriguez then pushed Fuentes and Gonzalez. Deputy Art Hernandez saw the fight and grabbed Rodriguez, asking him to let it go. Munoz ran over and pushed Gonzalez and Deputy Hernandez, bringing himself, Rodriguez, and Deputy Hernandez to the floor. As Deputy Hernandez lay on the floor, Munoz punched him in the mouth. Hernandez curled into a ball and asked Munoz, ‘Hey, sir, why are you hitting me?’”

Munoz was pulled off of Deputy Hernandez, but the brawl continued, and more deputies were targeted and beaten (details in Castle’s piece).

After this assault, Deputy Art Hernandez filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County. They detailed the events that took place at Kennedy Hall and at the East LA Station, and called for a third-party investigation into the Banditos gang.

The lawsuit alleges that Deputy Rafael Munoz, and leader of the Banditos, reportedly bragged that Villanueva, his friend and former training officer, had his back and would make sure he and other Banditos were not prosecuted.

After an internal investigation conducted by LASD, prosecutors declined to file charges against Munoz, Rodriguez and Silverio.

After this decision, Los Angeles County Inspector General Max Huntsman released an analysis of the criminal investigation of the Banditos assault. He reported that throughout the investigation of the Kennedy Hall incident, internal investigators ignored evidence and did not ask tough questions to witnesses.

According to the District Attorney's report, “The LADA's rationale for declining to file a case against the four suspects was as follows: alcohol was involved, the area in question was dark and thus the video did not sufficiently capture the incident, contradictory statements were made by witnesses and parties involved, and all of the suspects and victims were all potentially biased.” Huntsman argued that these inconsistencies were minor and common for cases with multiple witnesses.

The report also stated that no evidence of gang-related activity in association with the Banditos was present, however, the Inspector General’s office argued that the witness statements made clear that gang activity existed at the East LA Station.

Alex Villanueva stated that he would not be checking deputies for gang-related tattoos, saying, “We are not going to go through a witch hunt and ask every employee - are you a member of a group or not. That would be inappropriate and wildly speculative.”

Inspector General Max Huntsman accused Villanueva of promoting a “code of silence,” when it came to deputy gangs, as the investigation into the Kennedy Hall incident was insufficient, and Villanueva claimed he would not be asking deputies about affiliations with deputy gangs.

Soon after, Alex Villenueva and other top sheriff officials utilized a “Civil Rights and Public Integrity Detail” team of nine sheriffs — whose main purpose is to target Villanueva’s political enemies and critics — to launch an investigation into LA County Inspector General Max Huntsman.

Recently, Villanueva also targeted a Times journalist, Alene Tchekmedyian, for leaking surveillance footage of a deputy kneeling on a handcuffed inmate. The department wanted this footage covered up.

During a news conference, Villanueva presented a photo of Tchekmedyian. When asked if the reporter was under investigation, Villanueva stated, “The act is under investigation. All parties of the act are subject to investigation.”

After politicians criticized Villanueva’s targeting, as it is unconstitutional in regards to freedom of the press, Villanueva backed down, saying, “Resulting from the incredible frenzy of misinformation being circulated, I must clarify at no time today did I state an LA Times reporter was a suspect in a criminal investigation. We have no interest in pursuing, nor are we pursuing, criminal charges against any reporters.” Blatant backpedaling lies.

Alex Villanueva has kept none of his campaign promises. He has enabled a culture of violence and corruption to develop within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. He continues to make excuses and deny allegations, when it’s clear he’s lying through his teeth. Alex Villanueva will continue to allow this corruption to fester, and he has been proven to go through intense efforts to stop anyone in his way.

Villanueva is up for reelection on June 7 of 2022. We obviously can not allow him to remain in this position, however, it’s clear that no matter who the Sheriff of Los Angeles County is, the department will remain as corrupt as it has always been. Liberation is best accomplished through political education. Take time to read works from authors of color, from Revolutionary literature regarding the abolition of harmful systems (including police and prisons) is available to read for free.

Experiences Within the Santa Clarita Valley Community

At the end of 2020, I created a form where individuals from the Santa Clarita community could submit their stories of mistreatment from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. This information was meant to be included in a website that never came to fruition — so, I decided to release the submissions in this article.

All 21 submissions have been kept anonymous to ensure safety for each individual.

This is past the point of reform. This behavior has been ingrained within our policing systems for generations upon generations. The only way for this to change is to cut funding to our police departments and instead fund programs and resources that would prevent crimes, such as mental health resources, substance abuse treatment programs, affordable housing, etc. These services would benefit our communities, rather than allow Sheriffs to continue misconduct and harassment of our community members.

TRIGGER WARNING: Har*ssment, Sexual As*ault, Ab*se, R*pe

“2010; Canyon Country, off of Jake's Way. A cop pulled me and my friends over because my friend rolled a stop sign. The cop proceeded to harass us, call us 'stupid white girls,' and searched the car and our bodies for 'drugs.' We had nothing on us and he found nothing (besides a legal prescription of medication I took for anxiety). He told me to shake out my bra; and when I told him I wasn't wearing one, he said, 'Prove it.' I showed him my breasts and he eventually let us go with a ‘warning.’”


“During the time of this incident I was a manager at a store in the Valencia Town Center. One of my employees (young female about 18 years old) had a man come into our store and harass her. The first time this happened we asked him to leave and told mall security who let us know if he came back we should call the sheriffs if we felt like she was in immediate danger. Long story short, this man came back to the mall several times and would hang out around our store, security would ask him to leave and we would escort this employee too and from her car. At one point he had entered my store and walked very quickly directly toward my employee. I stepped in front of him and I told him I was calling the police, he immediately ran and left the mall, I sent my employee to our back room she was visibly shaken up and did not feel safe coming to work or walking alone in the mall. The sheriff who arrived was male, I filled him in on the situation, he laughed rolled his eyes and said, “Don’t either of you have a boyfriend who can take care of this?” I was enraged. He then said “I mean we can’t stop anyone from trying to talk to a pretty girl.” At this point I said to him “I don’t think you understand the severity of this situation. I have an employee who is fearing for her safety and I need you to do your job and give me the resources to make sure he doesn’t enter the entire mall again.” He gave me a few resources but the entire situation was handled so poorly. During the entire conversation I had my employee with me so she could give her first hand account. She was terrified for her safety and this grown man stood there and laughed at her. There are obviously much more violent things happening with the sheriffs department as of lately but that experience always stuck with me and I felt like it needed to be shared, my employee was truly fearing for her safety at this point. SCV sheriffs department is a joke and so is every officer that works for them. #ACAB"


“(Sorry this is sort of vague - I am sadly at risk for retribution if I disclose more details). I work for another county Department, and while I was at work a few years ago, I heard a deputy taking with my supervisor about something. I didn’t hear all of what the conversation prior to this was, although I did immediately write down notes on this so I have the date and some more context that I could dig up, but I VERY clearly hear this female deputy say ‘white power’ and my supervisor said something along the lines of ‘oh but of course you can’t say that anymore!’ In a sarcastic/slimy tone. Then they both laughed as they walked out the door. I had been sitting quietly in the room next to them so I don’t think they knew I was there. It was HORRIBLE and very uncomfortable. I couldn’t believe my ears.”


“In January 2013 I was pulled over for expired tags. My car was searched without consent and the cop found my diabetic friend’s needle in my car. I was not aware it was there. He proceeded to check me for track marks all over my body and accuse me of being a heroin user. I was taken in the SC police station from Monday night to Thursday morning. I was in a cell alone the whole time, segregated because of my queer status. No one would tell me what was going on. I was then transferred to the San Fernando courthouse to see a judge. I was told that I could be facing felony drug charges but it turns out the cops did not provide any evidence of drug use but I still remained in a cell by myself for almost 4 days. There’s more to the story but that’s the gist of it.”


“I was sexually ass*ulted and almost r*ped by a boy who lives down the street from me. When I got to the police department after the incident I was in shock and couldn’t stop the tears from coming down my face. A woman came out from the back and asked me what had happened. Before I could even begin to explain what went on she stopped me with a smirk on her face and asked me if I had been drinking. I told her no and she started almost giggling saying that she could smell the alcohol on me when I had not been drinking at all. Every time I tried to explain myself she just stood there rolling her eyes and I became so furious and frustrated I just left. It was probably one of the worst days of me life. It made me feel like not even the police would believe me or protect me. To have a WOMAN in a police uniform look into the eyes of another woman and not even let them explain their story if horrific. I wish I had reported her to higher ups but I didn’t see the point. Over six months later I had a friend of a friend explain that the same thing had happened to another girl by the same police officer.”


“Back in September 2004, I was driving home to Stevenson Ranch from Canyon Country. I decided to drive through Old Town Newhall and a cop pulled me over because he said I was speeding when I wasn’t, and he said to me that I was lucky because he wasn’t really paying attention. He assumed that I, a white boy from Stevenson Ranch, was only in that part of town to buy drugs. He asked me to step out of the car and performed a field sobriety test on me even though I was completely sober. He then proceeded to search my body to see if I had any illicit substances on me. He fully cupped my genitals and was rubbing me for several seconds, much longer than a typical search. He was verbally harassing me while groping me and it left me completely humiliated.”


“When reporting my experience with sexual assault in the 7th grade the sheriffs on campus laughed behind my back and wouldn’t take me seriously. 2 years later they ‘lost’ my original report so they showed up at my house to have me rewrite one. When my father answered the door they told him why they were there and asked me to recall all the details in front of both of my parents. Both sheriffs were male & white. I was so embarrassed. Having to recall all the traumatizing details in front of my parents was so awful, they didn’t even know the abuse happened. They could’ve called me directly (they had my information) or sent a female sheriff, like I requested for the original report. Asked me questions in private instead of involving my parents.”


“I am 17 and was a victim of sexual abuse when I was 7. After years of being quiet about it I finally told my mom and my therapist, my therapist had to report it to have it on record and told me police may be visiting me to check on me but she doubted it. Reminder I’m a victim of sexual abuse I have ptsd and paranoia and my biggest fear is someone watching me. Later that night a 2-3 am police knock on my window and shine flashlights through it without announcing themselves at all. I am sent into a panic and wake up my stepdad and he opens the door slowly to see who it is. They then come in wake up my 12 year old brothers and get the story from all of us. Why didn’t they just knock on the door, why didn’t they say police, why did they come so late when in the report it said it was a historical report. Then they proceed to not report them coming to my house and more police show up weeks later. And make me rehash everything to them. The two male officers told me that since I was young and my abuser was a minor too it didn’t matter and it was just like we were playing. They invalidated me to my face.”


“Soledad canyon. My mother father and brother were driving home when they got stopped for no reason. The cop immediately pulled my father out of the car and started yelling at him and handcuffing him asking him what gang he was in. My father is a Hispanic male with lots of visible tattoos and he stayed as calm as he kept telling the officer he was just driving himself and his family home and was not in a gang. The police officer was very rough with my dad and degraded him in front of his wife (my mom) and his son (my brother).”


“My father and I were walking out of the canyon liquor store on Soledad and were oblivious to the 7 armed sheriff’s with guns pointed at us until we got to our car. Once we had noticed that they were there, we were tackled and handcuffed. All this before we can hear verbal orders to get on the ground. After they did get our ID’s. They uncuffed us and told us we fit the description of two suspects.”


“At Bowman high school I was being searched by the police dept. and as they searched they found a sobriety chip on me for 3 months sober. I have been struggling for years and this was the first time I was willing to change. Instead of congratulating me they doubted me, much more than doubted me actually. They all claimed heavily that i was just lying to everyone and that I would never reach that milestone in my life because I was a ‘terrible kid’”


“In front of Everest I was on the way to school (Bowman) when I saw my cousin. I called her to tell her wait at the light ima say hi and she tells me a cop pulled up behind me. I wasn’t tripping cuz I hadn’t done anything illegal but then he grabs me and tell me I look like someone who should be arrested. He put me in the cop car. I asked to call my mom because I am a minor he says no then my mom calls me lots of times and the officer hangs up the calls then eventually turns off my phone. He illegally searched me.”


“I was told that I was being an ungrateful teen just because I told an officer about feeling unsafe at home. I doubted myself and was frustrated. The officer’s exact words were 'My mom used to beat my ass with a cord. But she worked hard and we didn’t have the crap you have.' I wasn’t looking to get lectured or have my feelings and experience being shot down by someone who was supposed to help me. I was upset and I felt like there was no hope for me to leave my toxic situation. What was the point if no one was going to believe me? No matter their personal feelings or opinions, the officer could have taken my experience with a grain of salt and be more understanding of my situation.”


“Soledad Rd. and Rainbow Glen bus stop when I was 15. My friend and I saw a crooked bus stop sign and we were messing with it when an undercover police car pulled 3 lanes over the far left lane without any sort or signal and came to a complete stop thus creating a 3 car pile up.”


“I was walking with my friends at the mall parking lot and this cop pulled up to us and stopped us and asked to check me for no reason. We were walking to Chick-fil-a and he didn’t ask to check anyone else and he asked if I had drugs on me but he gave me a dirty look and I think it may be because I do dress gothic and he assumed I had drugs on me. Also he had another officer hold my friend to the side and we were all white except for my one black friend the other officer held to the side. I feel disgusted not only were they being racist to my friend but they assume that teenagers that may dress or look more gothic or emo are the bad ones. I was angry and my friend was calm about it cause he said he was used to it that is absolutely ridiculous no poc should be used to that and no person needs to feel scared because of how they want to dress or look.”


“Last year I was at the mall skateboarding. Security guard said we had to leave. So we decided to skate at Active ride shop, the manager Paul was cool and would allow us to skate the rail. After two hours we went back to the mall to eat Chipotle. In the middle of eating the security guard still had a problem with us being there. The security guard tried to harass my friend so I decide to step in. She starts trying to arrest me and out of anger instead of lashing out on her I just threw her bike down (she was not on the bike). She calls alien alliance (security guards), we all run through the streets and I turn around and see that they are still chasing us with cars!!! We start to get on our boards and fly across the street to get away and they start driving against traffic!!! My friend and I got trapped inside Tilly’s and my friend ends up making it out and not me. They end up putting their hands on me and holding me to the ground until I called my parents. I said “no." They took my information and I went to school on Monday to have my hands cuffed for battery two and theft. The security guard claims she was punched in the head and got her phone stolen!!! I went to court and had major issues with my family and life. My parents never believed me and lost their respect for me which ended up leading to me never seeing them again. I was judged by the way I look in court and also by my age. They took the side of the security guard because she had a job, dressed formal and was an adult. The judge didn’t even want to pull me into court just a fyi, he was gonna just give me two felonies and not even hear what I have to say!!! They only let me in because I was white!!! The system is fucked up. I’ve struggled to also get a job for awhile, it’s already hard not living at home anymore and it’s because of that lying bitch. (Also need to add I had an unbiased video evidence that I didn’t do it!!!! While she was grabbing me we were twisting and turning and end up passing a tree for 1.1 seconds and that was supposedly when I punched her and stole her phone). Fuck that Karen bitch.”


“4 years ago, I was driving home from work on Sierra Highway, driving towards Palmdale. As I was driving, right before you get to Davenport in Sierra Hwy, the vehicle in front of me started drifting to the right. Then, the driver over corrected to the left, lost control and flipped her vehicle. I and a few other people immediately pulled over. We ran to the flipped vehicle, while another lady called 911. We busted open the window and pulled the young girl out of the vehicle. 911 dispatcher said Sheriff’s and Ambulance were on the way. The ambulance never came. When a Sheriff finally arrived almost an hour later, he never got out of his vehicle. He pulled up to where we were sitting on the side of the road, and from his car asked what happened. The driver, a young black woman, explained she was working several jobs and was over exhausted and dozed off at the wheel. The officer said ‘Alright. You really should be more careful.’ And then let us know he was going to go to McDonalds and he’d be back in awhile to check in. The tow truck and the drivers mother arrived and we got the young woman in the moms car. The Sheriff finally came back. Talked to the tow truck driver, and then told the mom of the driver (who was yelling at her daughter) that she needed to make sure her kid was more responsible. Then he left. We pleaded with the mom to take her daughter straight to the doctors to check for internal injuries, but I don’t know what ever happened. It may not be a case of blatant racism, but it sure does speak to their disinterest in helping people.”


“I was driving home from college and I pulled up at a red light at the McBean and Magic Mountain intersection. After being in a three hour film screening class, my eyes needed a break so I was looking down into my lap as I waited for the light to change. I was wearing overalls and had my phone in the pocket on my chest. A police officer on a motorcycle pulls up next to me and sees me looking down at my lap. I look at him before resuming my original stance. The light changes and i make a left, only to realize that the officer is tailgating me and telling me to pull over. I do and he accuses me of using my phone while driving. Firstly, I was fully stopped in a left turn lane that had a great duration of time until the light changed. Second, my phone was clearly in my pocket on my chest (visible to the officer) and not in my hands. He kept accusing me of it and I obviously kept denying that I was using my phone while driving. Eventually he gave up because I was so adamant and stood my ground against him despite his threatening demeanor.”


“Police forcibly pulled me and my brother out of the car. Citing an inapplicable court case (Penn v Mims), as justification. They were in no imminent threat from a nerdy looking boy and his brother. No probable cause. While parked outside of a friends house. Stop harassing kids without cause.”


“Saugus neighborhood in 2016. If the officer controlled his temper and didn’t bluntly call my friend a b**** I’m sure things would’ve been smoother and I wouldn’t have lost as much respect for our officers at such a young age.”


“It was my first time ever getting pulled over. This was on Seco Canyon Rd.

I had just picked up my girlfriend after getting off my shift at the restaurant I worked at. It was around 11 at night. I noticed a car with their high beams on following me at a distance then got closer and closer to a tailgate. I found it super annoying that this car was blinding me through my rear view mirror so I sped up to get some distance. (Going around 8-10mph over) After 10 min or so as I was arriving at my friends house, the cop turned on his lights and pulled me over. I had never been pulled over before, but my parents had taught me how to handle the situation. I turned my car off, rolled down the window, turned off my music, threw my keys on the dash, had my wallet on my lap and put my hands on the wheel. The cop approached my window, shined a flash light at my face and for a super super super long pause said absolutely nothing. So I took the awkward initiative and politely said, “good evening officer did I do something wrong?” He responded with and I quote, “get the fuck out of the car”. I was so scared at this point, as I got out of the car he had his hand on his waist where his gun was and directed me to go to the back of my car and to put my hands on my trunk. For the next 10 minutes he yelled and cussed at me for “speeding” (going 10 over on an empty road because a car was high beaming the crap out of me) and for not noticing that he was following me. He then repeated so many times that he didn’t clock my speed but if he did that I’d be fucked. Seriously? No I couldn’t tell you were a cop you had your lights shining so bright a semi truck could’ve been behind me. Also I wasn’t even going that fast? Especially on a empty road.

At this point in time I had just moved back to California after living on the east coast for awhile so I had a out of state license. He asked me for my license, took a look at it, literally chucked it at the ground towards the front of my car and got in my ear threatening me with arrest for having a out of state license. I tried explaining that I had just moved back but he didn’t give a crap. I told him my address, the name of my parents etc.

He then aggressively asked if I had drugs or weapons in the car in which I responded no I don’t do drugs or smoke. In which he responded with, “so if I open your fucking trunk I’m not going to find any drugs?” In which I responded no you won’t officer and you have no reason to go through my car I have done nothing wrong or anything to provoke you, I have cooperated and tried to be as polite as possible. I’ve never been pulled over before I’m nervous as hell” he responded by spitting at the ground.

After a few more minutes of harassment from the officer he told me to get the fuck out of here and that I should never come around here again. I had to comfort my girlfriend when I got back in the car because she was shaking. That’s how scary it was for her just hearing what was happening. I can’t help but wonder if the cop (middle aged white guy) was just being a racist after seeing that a brown kid was driving.”

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