A Los Angeles County traffic stop in which a local rapper was approached by a deputy who threatened that the man would “take one to the chest” if he failed to comply with exiting his parked vehicle is now under investigation, according to police.
Rapper Feezy Lebron was detained by two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department patrol deputies on New Year’s Eve while sitting in his car in a South Los Angeles parking lot, according to his social media posts.
“If you don’t listen, you’re done,” the deputy can be heard saying on video from a body worn camera, which was released Friday by the sheriff’s department, along with a statement.
“During the contact, the deputies ordered the man to exit his car. One deputy displayed pepper spray, then drew his firearm and used unprofessional language, which later resulted in a complaint filed by that community member,” the LASD statement said.
“Sheriff (Robert) Luna has made it clear that he expects Department personnel to treat all members of the public with dignity and respect, and that personnel who do not uphold our training standards will be held accountable,” the statement said.
CNN has reached out to Lebron’s attorney for further comment.
Video details interaction
It’s unclear what happened before the bodycam recording picks up, but LASD said in a release, “while on the scene, their attention was drawn to a man sitting in a car in the parking lot.”
In the video, one deputy is already at the driver’s open car door and can be seen leaning in toward the driver. When the deputy whose bodycam video was released approached, he initially threatened to spray the driver with pepper spray if the man did not get out of the car, and warned the first deputy to move out of the way.
Almost immediately, the deputy can be seen trading the spray for his weapon, pointing it at the driver, at which point he says, “if you take off in this car, I’m gonna shoot you. If you put this car in drive, you’re getting one right to the chest.”
“You’re gonna shoot me?” Lebron asked.
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” the unnamed deputy replied.
Throughout the interaction, the driver continually asks what he’s being detained for and whether he’s under arrest.
“It’s already been explained to you,” the deputy is heard telling Lebron. The deputy also stated that Lebron was being detained for refusing to comply.
Once out of the car, the man is placed in handcuffs and asked if he’s on probation or parole, to which he answers no. The deputy accuses him of smoking marijuana in his car and the man defiantly says that he did not smoke weed in his car, but does have weed in his vehicle, which is legal.
Eventually, the man was cited for a missing license plate, the LASD said.
James Wheeler, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, a union representing officers at the department, said in a statement that their objectives “are to ensure there is a thorough investigation” and “to preserve due process for those involved.”
“Our values are straightforward and universal, applying to the public and our members alike, regardless of the nature of the allegation. Regarding this specific encounter, ALADS has only secondhand information and an edited audio recording that doesn’t capture the incident in its entirety, and we are therefore currently unable to offer a definitive comment,” the statement said. “The Sheriff’s Department is conducting an investigation into this matter and we are awaiting the outcome of that investigation.”