A video of a suspected drunk driver in California is raising eyebrows after the man is shown stumbling away from a crash scene while local police watch.
The suspected DUI driver crashed on August 22 into three parked cars in Los Feliz, according to CBS Los Angeles and Fox 11. Bystander footage shows the man floundering around his vehicle while having a hard time standing up.
The footage, first posted on Instagram by witness Katy Wicker, captures the driver attempting to get back into his vehicle with keys in hand — despite the presence of Los Angeles police officers.
A suspected drunk driver hit three parked cars in Los Feliz, and the Los Angeles Police Department just let the man walk away, some residents say https://t.co/lhSvnncSck
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) August 28, 2020
Wicker, who knows the owner of one of the damaged cars, told Fox 11 that law enforcement did not attempt to breathalyze the man or administer a sobriety test — and eventually let him go. In the video, bystanders are heard harping on police, asking why they didn’t do more to intervene.
After a wave of backlash online, the Los Angeles Police Department announced on Monday that it is investigating the responding officers, CBS Los Angeles said.
LAPD told the station that “officers on the scene make the call of whether to conduct a field sobriety test.”
Here’s what you need to know about the crash:
Witnesses Say the Driver Was Making a Left Turn When he Hit the Vehicles, Causing A Lot of Damage
View this post on Instagram
#repost • @brocktothefuture • LA friends! Know a good lawyer or journalist who can help us out? Last Saturday, around 4pm, a drunk driver hit three cars on the street in front of our house. He was clearly wasted (he kept falling over) and belligerent. He kept yelling at everyone – especially the cops, firefighters and tow truck driver. He claimed his uncle was a congressman. About an hour later, once his car was towed, the cops just let him go. They never breathalyzed him (we asked them if they did, they said no). At the end of the video you’ll see several witnesses yelling at the cops, asking why they didn’t arrest him. They didn’t respond and just drove off. We have more photos and videos. We have the cops’ names and the report number, and we found this guy online. But not sure what to do next. Any ideas?? DM me. Thanks!
Wicker, a resident in the area, told CBS Los Angeles that she started recording the aftermath around 4 p.m. Footage shows the man stepping out of his damaged Dodge Charger and falling over into the grassy median.
“He was completely intoxicated the entire time,” she told the station. “It was apparent to everyone that was there. He was yelling at everyone. He was yelling aggressive comments at police officers, at the ambulance that was there, at the tow truck driver, and he literally stumbled away.”
“He could have killed someone,” Wicker added. “He could have injured people. He could have done a lot more damage than he did.”
A woman who owns one of the cars that were hit said she identified the driver through her insurance company, CBS Los Angeles said.
She also told Fox 11 that she is considering suing the driver and police department.
Many Have Since Taken to Social Media to Air Their Grievances With the Los Angeles Police Force
#DijonKizzee, a 29yo Black man, was fatally shot by @LASDHQ deputies. Cops stopped him while riding his bike for alleged “vehicle code violation.” They say he ran, dropped clothes and handgun. He didn't pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours. pic.twitter.com/CF1hVihywv
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 1, 2020
Footage of the suspected drunk driver emerged in the wake of the fatal shooting of Dijon Kizzee on August 31 by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies.
Many pointed out the contrast in the police response between the suspected drunk driver and Kizzee, who was killed after he was stopped for a “vehicle code violation” while riding his bicycle.
Twitter users called out the police department for indulging in “white privilege” while dealing with the suspected drunk driver.
Below are some of the responses:
Popular Twitter Account “Fifty Shades of Whey” shared the video on September 1, with the caption: “Drunk man in Los Angeles hits 3 parked cars & the LAPD lets him go without a breathalyzer.”
Drunk man in Los Angeles hits 3 parked cars & the LAPD lets him go without a breathalyzer pic.twitter.com/UolzCHxlLC
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) September 1, 2020
It has since amassed more than 20,000 views and a wave of critical responses.
LA California Police let a drunk driver walk free after smashing into 3 parked cars. This is what you get when you Vote for liberal Democratic Leadership into office! Then everyone cries when they Crash into You or Your wife or Children or maybe something worse! pic.twitter.com/qtdtpId8Cn
— Paul (@Paul23003889) September 1, 2020
That is the most perplexing video I’ve ever seen. He should have been in cuffs. 🤯
— Biden Harris 🇺🇸 #MaskUp (@SportswearMasks) September 1, 2020
I'm more surprised they didn't shoot the car for being black.
— Cawfee Bean (@cawfee_bean) September 1, 2020
He literally reached all the way into his car for something and never got shot. Cop was not concerned at all and barely was even paying attention. The guy could have reached for a weapon. How come the cop didn’t shoot him?
— SadTruth (@ITALKSARCASM) September 1, 2020
The White Privilege Rewards Card
"Don't leave home without it. Now with Drunk Driver Protection"
— ☯️𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚃𝚊𝚘 𝚘𝚏 𝚂𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚖☯️ (@Starscream35) September 1, 2020