A video posted on Facebook has sparked outrage as it depicts an 81-year-old man being forcibly removed from a Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners meeting.
Facebook user Pete White posted the video he filmed of Tut Hayes who was in the middle of giving public testimony when he was interrupted and told he was “off-topic.”
When he tried to continue making his point, he was dragged — not escorted — from the podium and out of the building by several officers and was subsequently arrested.
White confirmed in the comment thread of his post that Hayes was eventually released from police custody — although, it is likely they did so without an apology for the humiliation he endured.
“Mr. Hayes is a longtime fixture in Los Angeles and his legal knowledge, especially regarding the Ralph M. Brown Act, is untouchable. This is dangerous and deadly behavior by the #LAPD and we must resist allowing their illegal behavior to continue,” White wrote.
According to White, the Commission President Matt Johnson did nothing to intervene as his officers used this unnecessary level of force against the senior citizen.
In the video, other members of the audience can be heard trying to stick up for Hayes by shouting “Don’t touch him!” and “Leave him alone!” to the officers.
White’s post has been shared more than 100 times since it was posted Tuesday evening. More than a dozen commenters expressed contempt for the officers’ behavior.
One commenter named Melina Abdullah admitted that witnessing this act evoked an emotional response. “This is one of very few times that I cried in police commission. How could they?” she wrote.
The video is heart-wrenching and becomes even more painful to watch if you imagine Hayes as your own father, grandfather, or any elderly person dear to your heart.
The way that the officers involved handled the situation clearly shows that they have no respect for the residents of the community they serve.
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