Encounters between police and Black women often are underreported, but a recent incident in Los Angeles has rallied people of color in the city. An African-American woman was arrested and held at gunpoint by Los Angeles officers who said that she had been named in a violent kidnapping and ransom plot.
The arrest, which was caught on video, sparked outrage when the clip went viral Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported. The incident was described as another example of police using excessive force against unarmed people of color. Los Angeles officers are seen with guns aimed at the woman, identified as Amber Neal, 25. She has her hands in the air in the clip. The witness, who filmed the incident, can be heard questioning the cops’ excessive show of force in the video, which has had more than 1 million views on Twitter.
Police and prosecutors revealed the reason for Neal’s arrest. She was named as the subject of a felony kidnapping warrant, said Officer Mike Lopez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department. The woman, along with two other people, Keith Andre Stewart and Johntae Jones, was said to have been involved in a plot to kidnap and extort an actor and actress in Compton last May, court records showed. Neal was being held on $1 million bail, police said.
The reaction of the video clearly indicates that there are deeper conversations to be had about police encounters in Black communities and cops’ use of large-scale force.