A woman’s video of police aiming guns at a kneeling black man as she begs them to stop went viral after it was filmed Friday, June 7.
What We Know…
- At an intersection in Hawthorne, California, William Ewell, the man in the video, was arrested by police Friday. The video was filmed by Sky Holsey, who was filling gas nearby and filmed the incident though she does not know Ewell.
- In the video, Ewell can be heard saying he is unarmed and asking whether the extra backup and guns were necessary. He immediately enters the submitted position on his knees with his hands behind his head.
- Ewell had been stopped by police early Friday morning after an altercation with the employee of a gas station. An employee at the gas station claimed Ewell had assaulted an employee. A witness called 911 at the same time reporting a robbery at the same location with possible weapons.
- Ewell was handcuffed and detained for further investigation after the videoed altercation. It was ultimately determined Ewell had assaulted the cashier at an AM/PM gas station and other employees along with two other suspects. Ewell was released Monday, June 10 with a citation.
- Holsey told HuffPost she did not feel the actions of the officers were justified, explaining their actions were too extreme, especially given they had not yet confirmed Ewell’s identity.
- Holsey can be heard in the video asking the police to drop their weapons and just arrest Ewell, as he was complying with police. Holsey said the police told her they were responding this way because Ewell “loosely matches the description” of the suspect.
People are outraged by Holsey’s video as it is an over-use of force an instance of police harassment and racial profiling.