LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with unlawfully using a Taser stun gun on someone who had been detained for shoplifting in Compton two years ago, the District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Hiraudi Lopez-Romero, 29, was charged with one felony count of assault under color of authority. She is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 31 in downtown Los Angeles.
“Those who are sworn to protect our communities are required to make ethical decisions within the confines of the law,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
“But when they resort to using unreasonable and excessive force to exact revenge rather than in self-defense, their actions break the law that they are supposed to uphold. My office will hold them accountable for their actions.”
On Dec. 14, 2020, Lopez-Romero responded to a possible shoplifting call near the Blue Line train station in Compton. A man was detained and when he allegedly resisted going into a deputy’s car, he was pepper-sprayed, according to prosecutors.
The man, who was handcuffed, was kicking inside the vehicle as he was being transported to a hospital to be treated, decontaminated and cleared for booking. While en route to the hospital, he allegedly shattered one of the windows with his feet.
The deputy is accused of stopping and exiting the vehicle, then using a Taser on the handcuffed man while he was detained in the back seat of the vehicle.