A viral cellphone video of an “unarmed black woman’s” arrest prompted public outrage and allegations of excessive force, but the Los Angeles Police Department has now released the details of the incident(video below).
Amber Neal, 25, was one of three people involved in the kidnapping of two Hollywood actors – one of whom was stripped naked, maimed, and deprived of food for 30 hours, the New York Daily News reported.
“Although we are limited in what info we can release, we can confirm this individual was arrested on a felony kidnapping warrant & taken into custody without a use-of-force,” the LAPD tweeted on Monday. “She is being held on 1 million dollars bail.”
A bystander said that he recorded Neal’s Monday arrest as he sat inside a Starbucks on La Cienega and Centinela, according to a series of tweets.
“So this happened today in Inglewood,” the bystander captioned in the video tweet. “The police stopped the woman and drew guns on her even though (clear as day) she had nothing in her hands.”
The footage had been viewed nearly three million times as of Wednesday morning.
“I noticed the cops pull over the woman,” the bystander wrote. “Within seconds, what seemed like the whole police department show up, they began to draw their guns yelling orders at the woman.”
In the video, Neal was seen exiting a vehicle with her hands raised.
She appeared to be complying with commands being given from the officers who stood a distance behind her with their weapons drawn.
“Wow,” the video commentator said with a tone of disgust. “She looks like the most unharmful person. Look at her! She’s scared for her life!”
“That is unnecessary,” the commentator declared. “Really? We got…five guns pointed at this woman. At this unarmed, black woman.”
“You clearly see that she had nothing in her f – – – – – g hands,” the commentator railed. “Nah, f – – k that. F – – k the police.”
Neal ultimately lowered herself onto the ground and was subsequently taken into custody.
So this happened today in Inglewood. The police stopped this woman and drew guns out at her even though (clear as day) she had nothing in her hands. pic.twitter.com/yUAdimc2hC
— ricky🚧 (@x__ricardo) July 2, 2018
On Tuesday, the LAPD confirmed in a tweet that the woman was one of three people charged “with kidnapping an actress and an actor and holding the male victim for ransom.”
UPDATE: @LADAOffice announces three people, including the female seen in this video, have been charged with kidnapping an actress and an actor and holding the male victim for ransom https://t.co/eRo0OgoHMS
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) July 3, 2018
The attack occurred in early May of 2017, after Neal and her accomplices, 32-year-old Keith Stewart and 25-year-old Johntae Jones, stole actress Daisy McCrackin’s 2011 Lexus, NBC News reported.
The trio allegedly went to McCrackin’s home in Los Angeles, where Stewart and Jones attacked and overpowered the her and actor Joseph Capone, according to the New York Daily News.
They “pistol-whipped” Capone and dragged him to a vehicle, leaving a blood trail behind them, NBC News reported.
The suspects slipped back hoods of both victims’ heads, then drove them to Jones’ residence in Compton.
The actor was stripped of his clothing at the residence and held in a bathtub without food for the next 30 hours.
According to charging documents, Capone tried to help McCrackin at one point, and was subsequently “beat, punched, and kicked” for his effort, NBC News reported.
Stewart also allegedly cut Capone’s nose, ear, lip, and tongue, “put out an eye,” and “disabled” his tongue in the attack, according to NBC News.
Meanwhile, Neal and Jones drove McCrackin to at least two Bank of America branches to access her bank accounts. The actress was able to withdraw $100, which she handed over to her attackers.
They also forced McCrackin to write Neal a check in the amount of $10,000, then deposited the money into Neal’s account.
According to investigators, Neal forged a vehicle registration document in an attempt to make it appear that McCrackin had given her Lexus to Neal.
The suspects ultimately returned the actress to her own home, where she managed to escape and contact police.
The assailants were all arrested, although it was not clear why or how Neal was released from custody.
Altogether, the suspects have been charged with 17 felony counts, including conspiracy and possession for sale of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, kidnapping, mayhem, grand theft, and assault with a firearm, the New York Daily News reported.
Neal and Jones were both charged with additional counts of perjury, in connection with their claims that McCrackin had given them the Lexus as a gift.
If convicted, Neal faces a maximum of life in prison, NBC News reported.
Her accomplices face a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The trio’s pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 23.
McCrackin starred in several movies, including “She Rises,” “3,000 Miles to Graceland,” and “Halloween: Resurrection.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
July 4th, 2018