SAN DIMAS (CBSLA) — Video taken during a traffic stop last month in San Dimas has been shared widely online, but this time the outrage is over the actions of the woman behind the wheel.
"I was going 38," the woman says in the video. "So why are you harassing me?"
"I pulled you over because," the officer says before the woman cuts him off.
"Because you're a murderer," she says.
It took less than 14 seconds for the insults to begin. The derogatory comments last throughout the edited two-minute video posted online.
The woman can be heard asking the deputy to call his supervisor, which he said had already been done.
"We take a lot of abuse," Jim Wheeler, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, said.
Wheeler admitted that people sometimes get upset when they get a ticket, but said this interaction went too far.
"Those comments were uncalled for, especially the murderer part," he said. "We're not murderers. Our job is very tough."
The video — with a timestamp of about 9:30 a.m. April 23 — was taken using a body-worn camera owned by the deputy, since the department has not yet offered cameras to patrol deputies in San Dimas.
The woman's face has been blurred, but her voice and opinion are clear from the video.
"You're always going to be a Mexican," the woman says. "You know that, right?"
Every time the deputy asked a question during the recorded stop, it was met with an insult. Even when the deputy asked if she had a photo of her license since she admitted she didn't have the actual license on her.
"Here you go, murderer," she says.
The woman, who claimed in the video to be a teacher, said she was taking her son somewhere, though it was not immediately clear if he was in the vehicle during the stop.
The woman continued to hurl insults at the deputy as he wrote her a ticket for using her cellphone while driving, even calling him a Mexican racist at one point.
"He did a very good job of deescalating the situation and never raised his voice and kept everything nice and calm," Wheeler said.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva also sang the deputy's praises in a tweet.
"This Deputy exemplifies the core values of our Department, his demeanor during this traffic stop is just an example of professionalism and patience our @LASDHQ Deputies have," he wrote.
Wheeler said the video shows how 99% of deputies conduct themselves on a daily basis. And while traffic stop tirades may be common, he said the video serves as a good reminder that nobody deserves to be spoken to like that.
LASD said it was not identifying the deputy who took the video. The woman in the video has since filed a harassment complaint with the department, which LASD said it was investigating.
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