Shynita Phillips Abu was “jamming to music” in her car after a trip to a post office earlier this month when a San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy targeted her for extortion. His reason for pulling her over and eventually assaulting her? He claimed her “third brake light” was out.
In the land of the free, petty traffic violations like third brake light bulbs can and will lead to innocent people being assaulted and kidnapped. While it is technically an infraction if your third brake light bulb is out, according to Abu, when she picked her car up from the impound lot after the deputy took it, the light was actually working.
Abu has since filed a complaint against the department alleging excessive force. The department is now investigating.
According to Abu, who filmed the interaction, the officer became belligerent during the stop when she disputed the reason for the stop. Abu says the officer apparently didn’t like the fact that she was filming the arrest which made him angry.
“He started to yell ‘put the phone down now,’” she said. “And at that point, I became afraid”
For a simple traffic ticket, the officer proceeded to escalate force and is seen on video dragging the woman from her car. He allegedly pulled on her with so much force that her hair was ripped from her scalp.