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Video Of Deputy Body-Slamming Trans Driver Who Allegedly Flipped Him Off Sparks Outrage

The deputy claimed he stopped and arrested Emmett Brock over his car's air freshener, but lawyers for Brock claim it was retaliation for giving the deputy the middle finger.

Twitter screenshots from police brutality video of Emmett Brock and Joseph Benza

A disturbing video has surfaced showing a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy violently throwing a transgender man to the ground during a traffic stop. The incident, which occurred back in February, has recently been obtained by local news outlets, sparking outrage and calls for accountability.

In the video, the deputy—identified as Joseph Benza—is seen pulling up behind the man's parked car at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Whittier, just southeast of Los Angeles.

He quickly approaches the man as he exits his vehicle, telling him:

“Come here. I just stopped you."

The man, identified as Emmett Brock, objects to the deputy's actions and resists, pleading for him to remove his hands:

“No you didn’t. Get your hands off me."

However, the deputy forcefully takes him down to the ground and pins him face-down while demanding that he put his hands behind his back.

You can watch the video below.

CONTENT WARNING: Police brutality and anti-LGBTQ+ violence.

Throughout the encounter, Brock can be heard shouting that he's not resisting and asking the deputy to stop. His attorney, Thomas Beck, has stated that during the incident, Brock was punched repeatedly in the head, leading to a concussion.

Beck contends that the physical force used was entirely retaliatory and unjustified, telling Fox 11:

“[Benza] must’ve punched [Brock] eight to 10 times in the head, maliciously. There was no reason for the contact. It was purely retaliatory.”

Benza's arrest report claimed that he stopped Brock for having an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. Many states have laws against obstructing the driver's view with objects, but civil rights advocates argue that such pretexts are often used to unfairly target minorities during traffic stops.

Brock was taken into custody on various charges, including mayhem, causing serious injury to a deputy, resisting arrest, and failing to obey a lawful order.

While being booked into a holding cell, he faced further humiliation when he was forced to physically expose himself to the staff after they questioned his gender identity. He was later placed among women, raising concerns about the treatment of transgender individuals in custody.

According to Beck, the incident was "retaliatory" in nature, stemming from an obscene gesture Brock made at the deputy during an earlier encounter. Beck further stated that Brock had called 911 to verify whether the person following him was indeed a sheriff's deputy or an imposter, as the vehicle had not activated its lights for a legitimate traffic stop.

Despite the nature of the video and the allegations, Benza was cleared of wrongdoing after an internal investigation conducted by the Sheriff's department. One sergeant described his use of force as "objectively reasonable."

However, in light of the video's release and public outcry, the department has confirmed that a new internal investigation is underway.

Many have condemned Benza's actions and issued calls for justice.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has issued a statement expressing its commitment to taking "all use-of-force incidents seriously" and said it is investigating the matter.

However, the department declined to provide further comments at this time due to "pending litigation" related to the case.

As the situation unfolds, activists and advocates are calling for greater accountability and transparency within law enforcement agencies to address incidents of violence and potential bias during interactions with the public, especially vulnerable communities like transgender individuals.

Transgender individuals have been subject to more violence and discrimination over the last year as a result of a widespread Republican effort to limit their participation in public life and deny them life-saving gender affirming care.

Transgender people can get help through theTrans Lifeline at or call US: 877-565-8860 Canada: 877-330-6366