Sheriff’s deputies admit to wrong address
A Black youth leader in South LA says sheriff’s deputies entered his home in the early hours of the morning, dragged him outside, and handcuffed him before realizing they had entered the wrong house.
Derrick Cooper, 54, has operated the LA City Wildcats facility for about 30 years. It is a Compton-based organization that runs academic and extracurricular programming for area children. Cooper lives in an apartment in the same building where the organization is headquartered.
On April 18, sheriff’s deputies in the Compton station were called to respond to an attempted robbery near the LA City Wildcats facility. When they arrived, Cooper said, they entered his room and began shining lights in his face. He said he feared for his life.
I’m like, ‘They’re either here to kill me or I’ve done something that I don’t know about,’” Mr Cooper said in comments reported by NBC News. “I said, ‘I’m unarmed, I live alone, please do not shoot me.’”
The deputies reportedly ordered Cooper to get up and walk towards them. He reportedly responded that he was naked from the waist down and asked for the chance to put on an undergarment or pair of pants, but was told that he could not.
“As much as I wanted to reach for something to cover up, I just knew if I did that, it was not going to be good for me,” Mr Cooper said. “So as embarrassed as I was, I chose being embarrassed to live another day.”
Cooper was reportedly handcuffed and led through the Wildcats facility and into the street. Cooper said he asked why he had been detained, but was not given an answer. He was soon placed in a patrol car and sat there for a reported 20 minutes before a radio dispatch informed the officers that they had apprehended the wrong person.
“You guys are at the wrong building,” the message from the dispatch radio said. “Let him go.”
Cooper was released, but said he was “deeply shaken” by the incident. The Sheriff’s Department has launched an investigation into the incident.
Cooper’s lawyer, Jaaye Person-Lynn, said they have not received any information about why the officers targeted Mr Cooper.
“We haven’t been given any information, like any 911 calls or any other information related to that call,” Mr Person-Lynn said. “So as of right now, we are still quite unsure what actually led to the officers’ showing up.”