Hundreds protested in the streets of Anaheim Wednesday night as video surfaced of a white off-duty officer physically harassing a Chicano teenager, firing a gun in the direction of his friends – a group of brown and Black youth.
13-year old Christian Dorscht was walking home from school Tuesday with friends when he decided to stand up for his female friend who was verbally assaulted by off-duty Los Angeles cop Kevin J. Ferguson for traversing his lawn.
Dorscht yelled that he would “sue” the officer. Ferguson allegedly heard “shoot” and dragged the young man by his collar across his yard before firing his gun toward the crowd of young people.
When police arrived on the scene, they discussed the incident with the off-duty officer and arrested Dorscht, who has been charged with a misdemeanor. He was taken to juvenile detention but has since been released. A fundraiser has been set up to help his family pay for legal costs. The police officer has been placed on administrative leave as the incident is investigated.
By Wednesday evening, fiery protests broke out in the city, with the crowd drawing to about 300 people, all calling attention to the unfair treatment of the young teens by the cops.
"The ACLU of Southern California is deeply disturbed by reports that an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer fired his gun during a dispute with teenagers he accused of walking on his property at his Anaheim residence,” Jennifer Rojas, community engagement and policy advocate at the ACLU of Southern California, said in a statement Wednesday.
“The ACLU calls on the LAPD to investigate the matter fully and take appropriate action in regard to the officer. It also calls on the Anaheim Police Department to provide a full explanation of why, in an altercation between the police officer and youths, the youths were arrested but not the officer who fired his gun," she continued.
"An officer, even off-duty, has an obligation to follow the law and protect public safety, rather than threaten it. The LAPD officer's actions on the video are grossly irresponsible," Rojas said.