Good Samaritans in a standoff with looters outside of a Los Angeles store were mistakenly handcuffed amid the chaos as police arrived at the scene, video shows.
Three black residents were mistakenly detained on live television Monday as they tried to help the owners of a Van Nuys liquor store protect the shop from a group of looters, prompting the news anchor to intervene, FOX11 reported.
“They were protecting the store. The looters are over there. You’re losing the looters,” FOX11 anchor Christina Gonzalez told cops.
A woman, who was only referred to as Monet, was one of the three wrongly cuffed, and said she had been one of the people who had tried to flag down police.
“I was handcuffed, thrown up against a wall with my husband and brother-in-law, and I’m like, ‘What the hell?’ ” she said.
LAPD Commanding Officer Andy Neiman said he saw the mixup unfold on-air and drove to the scene to help sort out the misunderstanding.
“[Officers] have citizens that are flagging them down, not knowing what’s going on, and until they sort everything out, they don’t know who they’re dealing with,” Neiman told the outlet.
“They don’t know if they’re good guys, bad guys and so we have to get it under control first and then sort everything out.”
Monet and the other Good Samaritans were released — and she said she doesn’t blame the cops for the apparent mix-up.
“I get it. I understand [the officers] are tired. They’re worn-out too,” she told the outlet.
The incident came as cities across the country grapple with unrest amid demonstrations to protest the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died after a white cop knelt on his neck for several minutes last week.