A YouTube video posted on April 19 shows a U.S. Marshal grabbing a phone from a female bystander and smashing it to the ground. The video has since become viral with more than 300 thousand views to date. The bystander was later identified as Beatriz Paez.
South Gate U.S. marshal destroys bystander’s mobile phone
The U.S. marshals are reportedly in the area to investigate a meeting held by a biker gang. Paez was recording the whole incident when the three marshals noticed her. They tried to block Paez’ view. One of them then walked across a lawn towards Paez. The man grabbed the cell phone from her, threw the device on the ground and smashed it.
Unknowingly, a third person was recording the whole incident. The video of the encounter was then posted on YouTube, as first reported by TheDailyDot.
See the video below.
U.S. Marshals Service launches investigation
“The U.S. Marshals Service is aware of video footage of an incident that took place Sunday in Los Angeles County involving a Deputy U.S. Marshal. The agency is currently reviewing the incident,” officials said in a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Hector Villagra, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said that the video showed how the officer violated the Constitution.
“There is no situation in which an officer can intentionally grab and destroy a camera being used to lawfully record law enforcement. The officer’s conduct is a blatant and deliberate violation of the Constitution and his duties as an officer to abide by the law,” Villagra said.