LOS ANGELES (WSVN) – Eyewitness video has been released showing a Los Angeles woman selling flowers thrown onto the ground by a police officer during an arrest.
Cell phone video showed Juanita Mendez-Medrano being grabbed and thrown onto the ground, last month, near Los Angeles, where she was allegedly selling flowers without a permit.
However, the shocking video stirred a debate on whether the officer was in the right for using excessive force. The woman is seen in the video clutching her flowers as the officer forces her to the ground and handcuffs her.
“That is wrong,” said a nearby resident, Helena. “They should never do that. No.”
“Just like the guy who got beat up in the airplane,” said another resident, Fred. “Same stuff, same people.”
A witness who refused to appear on-camera said several street vendors were walking into traffic selling flowers.
Police in the area were giving tickets to vendors who didn’t have a permit and warned them to stop. They said the woman arrested was the only one who refused to cooperate.
Officials releasing a statement about the arrest, which read in part:
“Unfortunately, the video did not capture the other vendors cooperating with the citation process, nor did it capture our officer’s repeated efforts to convince Miss Mendez-Medrano to do the same.”
One man agreed with how the officer handled the situation. “If you’re not going to cooperate with police, you’re going to get what you get, you know,” said resident Randy Clark. “I mean, to me, it’s like hey, I was raised you obey what the police say and you do it.”
The woman in the video was heard shouting in Spanish during the takedown, with one resident translating, “Why do you do this to us? We’re living our life. Why do you get me like that?”
Police added the video did not capture the woman giving fake names and repeatedly walking away from officers. Mendez-Medrano is due back in court next month.
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