DEL REY (CBSLA.com) — An internal investigation has been launched after a Los Angeles police officer was caught on camera accused of using excessive force when arresting a man last weekend.
The video showed Taaj Williams in handcuffs, standing up. Then after he and an officer walked behind a wall, he somehow ended up on the ground.
William’s mom, Tyeesha McDonald, told CBS2’s Erica Mandy that her son was thrown down so hard he was knocked unconscious.
“I thought he was dead. I’ve never seen anyone unconscious before,” McDonald said. “It scared me. I was frantic. I couldn’t control my emotions.”
Her neighbor recorded the arrest on video outside their apartment building Saturday. Her son now has a black eye, McDonald said.
“He said he threw them down. That’s the last thing he remembered – getting thrown down and waking up on the ground, hearing my voice calling his name,” McDonald recalled.
An LAPD spokesman read a statement over the phone. “The department has worked very hard to gain the public’s trust, and we take all allegations of excessive force seriously. We’ve launched a personnel investigation into this matter,” Officer Sal Ramirez said.
He said a supervisor was there, and officers originally responded to a call to that area. But it is unclear what that call reported.
Police are asking other witnesses to come forward.
“I get emotional every time I do look at the video. I just have a lost for words. I’m angry that happened. Whatever went on; there’s no reason for that force,” McDonald added.
The family said Williams was later let go that night and did not understand why he was in handcuffs in the first place. They said they plan to take legal action.