Following the release of a video apparently showing a U.S. Marshal destroying a woman's phone for filming him, the agency is investigating the matter.
According the Los Angeles Times, 34-year-old Beatriz Paez began recording authorities on Sunday after they detained people in South Gate, Calif. The Times adds that someone was recording her simultaneously, capturing the following:
In the video, Paez is shown standing on the sidewalk aiming a cellphone toward two men standing a short distance away, wearing black shirts with tactical vests reading Police across the back. As the men stand with their backs to the woman, she can be heard saying You are making me feel unsafe, and I have a right to be here and You need to stay away from me, I don’t feel safe with you closer to me, among other statements.
Paez said Tuesday that the men had noticed her recording moments earlier and began to back up toward her to block her view. About 27 seconds into the video, a third man, a deputy U.S. marshal wearing a tactical vest and carrying a rifle, walks across a front lawn toward the sidewalk where Paez is standing.
aez appears to aim her phone toward the deputy as one of the other men motions toward her with his arm. The words spoken at this point in the recording are unintelligible.
At 32 seconds, Paez takes a couple of steps away from the men. The deputy marshal crossing the lawn then rushes toward her and grabs the device from her hand.
Oh! No! Don’t do that! Paez is heard yelling as the man wrestles the device out of her hand and smashes it on the ground.
In a statement, the U.S. Marshals Service noted that it is "currently reviewing" the encounter. The Times reports that Paez said she began recording because she was alerted by law enforcement members with "military-style weapons."
[via Los Angeles Times]