Police in LA still perpetuating violence during COVID-19

By Alireza Tabani April 23, 2020

By Alireza Tabani

April 23, 2020

I am a 53-year-old Iranian American and have lived in LA since 1990. As a marijuana user, I needed to buy enough marijuana to quarantine. On March 26, I went to my local dispensary in Los Angeles. After they checked my ID they let me inside. It was me and two other customers, including a fairly elderly looking woman. As I was paying, I heard screams and all staff started running out of building. All of the customers were still inside the shop and in that moment LAPD start breaking the doors down. I was horrified, not only for myself but also for the two other patrons. They came in holding their firearms and ordered me to get down on floor. They handcuffed me and kept my face to the floor for more than twenty minutes. I asked if I was being arrested, and they told me I was being detained, but wouldn’t articulate what crime they suspected me of committing. Allegedly, the marijuana operation was illicit, but they would not let me retrieve the payment I had already made. Beyond the blatant excess of force against me and the other patrons, I am appalled and disgusted that the police had zero regard for the current Coronavirus pandemic or the state and county issued orders. They had no masks or gloves. They ordered me, a 53-year-old man, to lay down on floor. Is that necessary during this horrible time? Why was this the response of the people who are supposed to be protecting us? And why is this even a priority when they know people are losing their lives? That they were “just doing their job” is no excuse, when heir job is to use excessive force and risk the health of civilians. 

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