Given the rise of the social media, people are able to talk about police's excessive use of force and everyday racism.
In Hawthorne, California, a woman recorded a 5-minute encounter with the police where a young unarmed black man was being swarmed by a group of police with their guns drawn. The video also captured her helpless voice, which can be heard weeping and pleading the police not to shoot.
This black woman saved this man's life. Listen to the trauma and pain in her voice.— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) June 9, 2019
"Can Yall just put your guns away and somebody get him. Don't move. Don't move." 💔
According to USA Today, the Instagram video was uploaded on Saturday - in which an emotional user Blueasdasky repeatedly questions why so many officers have surrounded an unarmed black man, while he is kneeling with his hands up. Officers from the Hawthorne Police Department detained William Ewell, 24, for an alleged robbery-assault that took place on June 7.
She saved this young man's life!— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) June 9, 2019
3 of these men killed 30 people. 3 of them killed no one. Look at the differences in the mugshot.
(Also if you don't know a Muslim or have a Muslim friend, more than welcome to follow. Trying to dispel Muslim stereotypes & end hate) pic.twitter.com/7Pz9EtLaIx
The video of the arrest, which went viral online, features an emotional response from a woman who was recording the arrest.
In the video, she repeatedly asks the Ewell what his name is before explaining that her boyfriend, Leroy Browning, was also a victim of police brutality in late 2015. At least 10 police officers are shown in the video.
"Why are your guns pulled on this young man?" she said in the video. "He has no weapons on him. We live right now."
"You gon' shoot me, too," Sky responds to a police officer telling her to "get out of the way," "for filming, right?"
Also the large gun is being pointed at Sky, the woman filming this. This woman risked her own life to save this man.— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) June 10, 2019
Cop: "Who is that gentleman to you?"
Sky: "I don't even know him. I am just getting gas"
Cop: "You don't even know him?"
Sky: "Yeah, but I care that much"
The visual, some Twitter users commented, shows an officer targeting Sky.
"Can somebody put your guns down and please come get him?" she said later on in the video, choked up, before six officers surrounded Ewell and handcuffed him.
"We got a call of a robbery that loosely matches the description," replied one of the officers to Sky.
"We are just detaining him, OK? We're not saying he's a suspect, but we are just trying to figure out what's going on. So just try to relax."
Doesn't matter. Once he was kneeling with his hands on his head, they should have approached and handcuffed him. INstead they continued to shout instructions etc. As soon as he misheard one or didn't respond to one, there is every chance they would have shot him— Falwall 🏴 (@Falwall) June 10, 2019
The video drew criticism from users on Twitter, who called out the police department for targeting a black man who "fit the description."
"I can tell you, this is the MOST COMMON pretext police use to stop and search Black people," tweeted New York public defender Rebecca Kavanagh. "It is harassment."
JESUS THIS IS TERRIFYING. 😭 thank you for saving his life, Skye. ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/vnurOEQRAH— Dana T #RESIST (@smudgiesmom) June 9, 2019
"After assisting officers arrived, the subject was handcuffed and detained for further investigation," reads a statement from Hawthorne Police Department issued on June 7.
Fuck Hawthorne PD forever— jade (@BROWNGlRL) June 8, 2019
Since the release of the video, Twitter has been flooded by users expressing their disgust at Hawthorne PD.
People can only guess what could have happened to the Ewell had this woman not immediately document what was happening to him. For the time being, Ewell has not been shot.