Bethany Nava, the 18-year-old that was dragged off the Los Angeles Metro by a police officer, says she is suing the LAPD for excessive force. On Jan. 22, Nava was riding the metro while on her way to pick up her new I.D. card when Sgt. Hutchings told her to take her foot off the seat. Nava said she complied and that Hutchings walked away but that he returned and told her to get off the train. The entire altercation was caught on video and went viral on social media.
In the video, Nava is visibly frightened and crying as the police is yanking her off the train. Another woman, Selena Lechuga came to her aid and cursed at Sgt. Hutchings. She too was arrested.
According to FOX News, Metro CEO Phil Washington issued a statement saying that he was “disappointed” after viewing the video, adding that police “encounter hundreds of conduct issues each day, and some of them are faced with very difficult situations,” he said. “But my hope is that we work to de-escalate situations as much as possible. The investigation is under way to gather all the facts, and until we have the complete story, we must not rush to judgment.”
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck appeared on ABC7 and said that people shouldn’t rush judgment based on the video.
“What I would ask everybody is, let’s all be civil in our interactions, you know?” Beck said on ABC7. “I’m not going to pre-judge this. Obviously there’s things of concern in the video, but I will tell you this, the sergeant involved in this is a 20-plus-year veteran with almost no use-of-force history. And we owe him an unbiased investigation that is more than just watching a snippet of video and making a judgment. And I will also tell you that during this incident he was spit on — not by that young lady but another,” he said. “Let’s all be civil. If an officer asks you to do something, please do it. And to my officers also, let’s be reasonable about the force you use.”
Michael Carrillo, Bethany’s lawyer told The Daily Beast that no one from the LAPD has reached out to them.
“Nobody has said anything. The only thing LAPD has released is that statement from last week, where they try to accuse her of violating the Code of Conduct, which is false,”Michael said to The Daily Beast.