Video of an alleged use-of-force incident on a Los Angeles Metro Rail train has gone viral. On Monday, an 18-year-old was yanked off a train and arrested by an officer because she had rested her foot on the train’s seat. A witness who came to the teen’s defense was also arrested after she allegedly spit at the cop.
Witness Brock Bryan recorded the 10-minute video. He and other witnesses can be heard pleading with the officer to stop.
Police claimed that the 18-year-old, Bethany Renee Nava, was being “loud and boisterous,” according to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Lopez.
"I already told you what to do and you didn't,” the officer scolds her in the clip. “You disobeyed me. You're getting off the train."
He then beings pulling Nava off the train. Nava resists and swears at him.
"I paid to be on this train. Stop,” she can be hear saying.
The officer takes her off the train and pushes her against a wall on the train’s platform. Nava, a high school senior, is visibly shaken and gasping.
Bryan tries to reason with the officer, telling him Nava didn’t do anything wrong and that it shouldn’t be a big deal.
"Over her foot on the train? That's so ridiculous. That's really abuse of power, officer," he said. "She wasn't blocking anybody else from sitting down."
Selina Lechuga, 22, also came to Nava’s defense and was arrested.
Before allegedly spitting at the officer, she said, “This is racism. This is what we are: 2018, motherf***ers like this want to just try to act like they can do whatever they want. F*** you guys."
Lechuga's bail has been set at $20,000 on suspicion of battery on a police officer, according to KTLA 5. It is unclear if she has a lawyer who can speak on her behalf.
Nava’s mother said that Nava suffered a sprained wrist from the incident. The LAPD is conducting a use-of-force investigation into the incident.
Metro's customer code of conduct states "placing feet or shoes on seats or furnishings" is prohibited disorderly conduct. It warns that such actions could be penalized with a warning and/or ejection from the train.
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