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Video of deputies arresting amputee sparks outrage


By Tom Wait

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    California (KCAL) — The family, friends and community members gathered outside the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department station after deputies were caught on camera repeatedly punching and holding down an amputee during a violent arrest.

It happened on Nov. 20 as Alejandro Hernandez, who had one of his legs amputated, headed home along Floral Drive when he encountered two deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“He was simply in his own neighborhood, going to his home,” his attorney Christian Contreras said. “As he was going to his home he was profiled. He was targeted, and these sheriff’s deputies in East Los Angeles went after him.”

Hernandez’s mother Gabriela Ortega said she wanted the deputies “held accountable” because “what they’re doing is not right.”

A spokesperson for the department said deputies on patrol recognized Hernandez as an active gang member. Deputies said he was trying to conceal something. When they made contact with Hernandez, they felt a firearm in his waistband and tried to handcuff him.

The department claimed he resisted, prompting the ensuing struggle. Deputies recovered a loaded 9mm handgun from Hernandez.

His lawyer confirmed that his client had a weapon on him during the arrest.

“He did have a weapon,” Contreras said. “But there was no objective evidence before then to have justified that.”

Contreras could not confirm that his client had a permit for the weapon.

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