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24 Jan, 2018 16:11

LA cop drags 18yo off metro ‘for having feet on seat’ (VIDEO)

LA cop drags 18yo off metro ‘for having feet on seat’ (VIDEO)

The LAPD has launched a use-of-force investigation following the controversial removal and arrest of an 18-year-old woman from a metro train for allegedly placing her feet on the seat.

Video of the incident shows Bethany Renee Nava of North Hollywood being arrested Monday at the Westlake/MacArthur Park station on the Metro Red Line in downtown Los Angeles at approximately 3pm local time. The officer was allegedly responding to reports of a passenger being loud and boisterous, according to Mike Lopez of LAPD, reports KTLA.

Warning this video contains offensive language.

"I already told you what to do and you didn't. You disobeyed me. You're getting off the train," the arresting officer can be heard saying in the video, which has now been viewed almost 5 million times.

"I paid to be on this train. Stop," Nava says.

Selena Lechuga, 22, intervened on Nava's behalf, decrying what she perceived to be the heavy-handed approach the sergeant had used and his strict interpretation of the metro’s code of conduct. The first officer claims that Lechuga was "impeding" the investigation.

“I’m not going to leave because I’m going to stand up for my people no matter what,” Lechuga is heard responding to the officer. "You're going to take her to jail for putting her foot on the bus [train]? Are you f---ing kidding me? You really have nothing to do," Lechuga says.

"This is racism," Lechuga adds. "This is what we are: 2018, motherf***ers like this want to just try to act like they can do whatever they want. F*** you guys."

Five officers arrived on scene soon after and took both Nava and Lechuga into custody.

“This is racism! This is what we are!” Lechuga shouted as she was led off. Lechuga is seen spitting at one of the officers and was arrested on suspicion of battery. Her bail was set at $20,000.

Nava was cited for disorderly conduct and released, while the officer continues working pending the outcome of the investigation. Nava has reportedly already hired a lawyer and is due in court February 15. She reportedly suffered a sprained wrist and some contusions in the incident.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is reportedly calling for the officer's bodycam footage to be released to shed more light on the incident.

“My expectation of the MTA….. is that there will be courtesy from everyone. I expect that from the individuals who ride – I expect that from law enforcement,” Garcetti said reports CBS Los Angeles.

“I know MTA and LAPD has launched an investigation. I also know that videos sometimes tell one picture. We’ll have the videos that officers have – as well as the videos that were made.”

The LAPD has reportedly been carrying out extra work to enforce the code of conduct on the metro which prohibits "placing feet or shoes on seats or furnishings." The LAPD took over policing of the city’s public transport in the summer of 2017, with assistance from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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