A viral video shows Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies holding up three Black teenagers at gunpoint, when they were actually the ones who needed help. Tammi Collins — the mother of one of the teens — told TMZ that deputies were called to the scene after an unidentified homeless man approached the boys at a bus stop and asked them for drugs.
The man then allegedly tried to steal the teens’ belongings and became extremely aggressive. Some people in the video told deputies that he had a knife and tried to stab the teenagers. The boys used their skateboards to defend themselves, but when police arrived they were held at gunpoint and told to put their hands in the air.
“They’re the victims!” bystanders can be heard yelling at officers in the video.
One woman who says she called 911 about the Santa Clarita incident attempted to speak with the officers and explain that the kids were innocent.
“I’m the manager here at Buffalo Wild Wings; we saw everything,” she said. “We’re the ones that called you.”
“They’ve just got their skateboards, they don’t have any weapons,” another person can be heard saying about the kids.
“They don’t care, ‘cause they Black!” someone else off-camera yells. “They didn’t do nothing at all.”
While the deputies were aiming their guns at the teens, a bystander noted that the homeless man was “walking away with a knife.”
According TMZ, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department lost sight of the homeless man and he was not detained or questioned. The teenagers were detained and, after speaking with deputies, were released. No arrests were made.
Collins told the outlet that several 911 calls were placed about the incident and all but one stated that the boys were the victims. One lone caller reportedly claimed “two black guys were attacking a homeless man” with a skateboard.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t made a public announcement about the incident. See the video below.