Los Angeles, CA – In a disturbing incident that has come to light, a 23-year-old transgender man, Emmett Brock, alleges he was brutally assaulted by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop. The incident, which occurred in February, has led to public outrage and calls for accountability in law enforcement.
According to Brock, the encounter began when he noticed a patrol cruiser following him, prompting him to call 911 out of concern for his safety. Upon reaching a 7-Eleven parking lot, Deputy Joseph Benza approached Brock and claimed to have stopped him, without offering a reason. Confused by the situation, Brock denies any wrongdoing, leading to a violent confrontation.
LA Sheriff's office pulled over Emmett Brock, a trans man, for having a an air freshener hanging in his car. The deputy proceeded to brutally assault him and tase him. After he was arrested and taken to booking, they demanded to see his genitals. pic.twitter.com/hJkQQsM1UH— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) July 24, 2023
The store’s surveillance camera captured the incident, showing Deputy Benza forcing Brock to the ground and repeatedly punching him while Brock screamed for help and stated that he couldn’t breathe. The deputy’s report cited an air freshener hanging from Brock’s rearview mirror as the basis for the traffic stop.
Furthermore, Brock claims that after his arrest, staff at the Norwalk station lockup asked to see his genitals to determine which holding cell to place him in when he identified himself as a transgender man.
Following the incident, Brock faced criminal charges, including resisting arrest and battery on an officer. He lost his teaching job due to the pending charges, and his life took a devastating turn.
The Sheriff’s Department has been under scrutiny in recent weeks due to other use-of-force incidents, and this latest revelation adds to the calls for reform and accountability within the department.
Sheriff Robert Luna has previously implemented changes, such as restoring oversight officials’ access to sheriff’s databases and ordering deputies to cooperate with investigations. However, critics argue that the department’s actions thus far have not been sufficient to ensure true accountability.
Experts in use-of-force cases have raised concerns about the escalation of the incident and the lack of de-escalation efforts when Brock showed signs of distress.
To date, the Sheriff’s Department has cleared Deputy Benza of wrongdoing, but Brock’s attorney has called for a criminal investigation against the deputy, accusing him of false imprisonment and kidnapping.
This case has intensified the spotlight on law enforcement practices and the need for transparency and accountability in officer conduct. As the investigation continues, many in the community are watching closely to see how the situation unfolds, hoping for a change in the way such cases are handled in the future.