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Woman says deputy used excessive force during traffic stop

Sheriff Protest.PNG
Posted at 7:46 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 22:46:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Community members are calling for a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy to be removed from duty.

They claim he roughed up a local woman during a traffic stop on Oct. 1.

"I'm afraid for my life," said Shynita Phillips Abu. "I'm afraid to be targeted again, and I don't feel good at all."

Standing outside the main building of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Shynita Phillips Abu described a violent encounter with a deputy.

ABC 10News is not naming the alleged deputy involved at this point in the department's investigation.

Abu said she was pulled over on CA 67 shortly after leaving the Lakeside Post Office.

"He came up to my window, and I rolled my window down, and he told me I'm pulling you over because you have a third brake light out," Abu said. "I asked the officer, what is a third brake light? I've never heard of a third brake light before, and I did inform him that everything works on my vehicle."

Abu said her phone rang during their brief conversation.

"I got a phone call from the guy from the post office, and that's when the deputy went belligerent," she said. "He started to yell, ‘Get off the phone, put the phone down now.’"

She said the deputy moved from the passenger's side to the driver's side of her vehicle and tried to get in.

"I'm asking him why are you arresting me," Abu said. "He said on video that I was not under arrest and I continued to record, and my husband called me and he (the deputy) told me stop calling people, stop calling people.”

Abu continued to describe a chaotic situation. She said the deputy slapped her cell phone to the ground and got her out of her car.

"He pulled me by my hair and yanked me out of my car by force," she said. "At this point, he already had my arm. I have bruises all over my arm from his holding my arm so hard."

Abu said she was handcuffed and put in the back of a car for hours, while she was taken from one facility to another. She said first they went to Las Colinas Detention facility, but she was rejected, then deputies took her to a hospital, and eventually they returned to Las Colinas.

Abu said after about six hours, she was just released at a trolley stop and not charged with a crime.

ABC 10News asked the San Diego County Sheriff's Department for the deputy's body camera recording. A spokesperson said they aren’t releasing it at this time.

In an email, the department spokesperson said, "We are aware of the incident and have initiated an investigation into the matter. We do not want to come to any conclusions until we have all of the facts."

When asked about the investigation and the deputy's status with the department, the spokesperson added, "His status remains unchanged."

Following the press conference Monday, Abu walked into the Sheriff's Department and filed a complaint against the deputy.