Sunday, January 16, 2022

Woman Praised for Filming Hawthorne, CA Police Aiming Guns at Kneeling Black Man [VIDEO]

*The race soldiers within the Hawthorne police department in California have come under fire for a video captured by a witness that shows officers using excessive force and militarized weapons on an unarmed Black man.

Sky Holsey, who filmed the disturbing scene, can be heard off camera crying and pleading with officers to put their weapons away.

The video of the arrest, which went viral online over the weekend, features officers detaining William Ewell, 24, for an alleged robbery-assault that took place June 7.

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Holsey filmed video Friday in the city of Hawthorne, at least four officers can be seen pointing their guns at Ewell, who is kneeling on the sidewalk, facing away from them with his hands up. He can be heard saying he is unarmed. Many are praising Holsey for saving his life, as her emotional response prompted the officers to make a peaceful arrest.

Meanwhile, the viral video has sparked outrage across social media.

Holsey told HuffPost in an email that she was getting gas before work when she saw the confrontation. She said Ewell “instantly” surrendered to the officers by kneeling with his hands up, noting that “he seemed in shock.”

sky holsey (sky holsey Instagram @blueasdasky)
Sky Holsey (Sky Holsey Instagram @blueasdasky)

Sky Holsey (pictured) watched the confrontation unfold. She recorded a video, in which she can be heard tearfully pleading with the officers to put their guns down

Holsey said she began filming because the police were using excessive force.

“Is all that really necessary,” she can be heard telling the officers in the video. “Is all the guns drawn on him necessary?”

Ewell was arrested on suspicion of robbery in connection with an argument with a gas station employee over a purchase, according to a news release posted by police on Monday. He was released Monday with a citation, according to an arrest record.

As Holsey filmed the horrifying moment, she warned Ewell to stay still “because they will shoot you.”

After placing Ewell in handcuffs, one officer approaches Holsey and tells her that they’re responding to a robbery and William “loosely matches the description” of the suspect.

“We’re not saying he’s a suspect, but we’ve got to figure out what’s going on,” the officer told her. “It says a weapon was involved. That’s the only reason he gets held at gunpoint.”

In a series of tweets, attorney Rebecca Kavanagh said that Holsey was “remarkable” for filming the incident, which she described as a “massive over-use of force.”

She also noted that police often justify arrests by claiming that the person “matched the description.”

“This is absolutely the number one pretext police use to stop and search Black and Brown people,” she tweeted, adding that those searches are “harassment.”

Meanwhile, the Hawthorne Police Department accuse Ewell of arguing with a female cashier at a nearby gas station over a “prior purchase” and “forcibly” grabbing “store items from the display.” They also claim he assaulted an employee with a trashcan.

Kavanagh advises folks to not be too quick to believe the police version of what went down. 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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