“Everybody hates cops until they need one.” - Wypipo proverb.
The problem with that sentence—which the Blue Lives Matter crowd keeps in their pockets to throw out every time there is any discussion about the racist misconduct of police officers—is that it only highlights the fact that while the lived experiences of white people teach them to regard police officers as heroes to be respected at all times, Black people’s lived experience gives us a different attitude: We hate cops even when we need them.
On Friday, L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies gave us a picture-perfect example of why many Black people would rather avoid the police even when we need their help: They pulled their guns on a group of Black teenagers in Santa Clarita, Calif., who were reportedly being attacked by a homeless man with a knife.
In video footage of the incident taken by bystanders, officers can be seen pointing guns and rifles at the teens, even as onlookers try repeatedly to tell them the boys they’re aiming at are actually the victims of the violence they were called to protect against. An officer can be heard shouting at them to “get away from me” while ignoring their pleas for him and other officers to stop pointing their guns at the terrified teens.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department told TMZ that officers responded to a call described as an assault with a deadly weapon by two adult males hitting another man with a skateboard. The mother of one of the teens is calling bullshit on that.
Tammi Collins, the mother of one of the teens, says her son and a couple of friends were sitting at a bus stop when a homeless man asked if they had any crack and then tried to steal their stuff. She says the man became super aggro, ripped his shirt off and pulled a knife on them, and attempted to stab them. She says the kids fended the man off with their skateboards.
Tammi says several 911 calls were placed and all but one claimed the boys were the victims, but one caller, she says, told the dispatcher “two black guys were attacking a homeless man.”
According to local radio station KHTS, police said that an “uncooperative” crowd gathered near Buffalo Wild Wings—where the altercation took place—and that prompted them to call for backup.
So basically, the cops responded to “uncooperative” people who the video shows were only asking them to stop pointing their guns at the victims of an assault, by calling more cops to the scene...who also pointed their guns at the victims, according to witnesses.
Even if it’s true that they “received a call regarding an assault with a deadly weapon, a skateboard,” as Lt. Ethan Marquez with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station claims, that doesn’t explain why they ignored all the people explaining to them clearly that the teens were not the attackers. A woman claiming to be the manager of the Buffalo Wild Wings and also the person who called them to the scene can be heard trying to explain that they were pulling guns on the wrong people.
KHTS reports that officers had detained two “suspects” who have since been released. It’s unclear if the homeless man who reportedly started all of this was ever found. According to KHTS the investigation into the alleged assault on the teens is still ongoing.