Dear Editor – A More Complete Truth

Dear Editor, 

I want to tell a more complete truth about a story that’s been circulating. I was the victim of a crime but I don’t want that to be leveraged into a narrative that supports police power, because they did not have the answer to prevent this situation.

From Westside Current:

“Police are seeking two men suspected of stealing a catalytic converter in Culver City… The victim grabbed one of the suspects to prevent the man from escaping before being punched in the head and struck with a metal pipe by the second suspect, police said.”

So we were actually dealing with “knuckleheads”. And contrary to what the report says, I grabbed the knucklehead to keep him from hurting me not to keep him from escaping. So let’s shed some more truth, because this report does not describe the nature of the WHOLE event. I want to stem fear mongering narratives of violent predators about the 19 or 20 year old BOYS we fought with.

The morning of the incident, I saw a car double parked next to ours, I didn’t know WHAT they were stealing but having just had some stuff stolen from me, I was mad and wanted to yell.

And I did yell, many F bombs. And they popped up like whack a moles and just stood there. They froze for so long that I got close enough to see how scared they were.

Knucklehead #1 pushed a car jack at me and then there was a lot of scrambling. I was hit with a hard object by knucklehead #1, but it didn’t feel like full power. It felt like they were trying to make me go away. I wrestled knucklehead 1 to the ground. At a certain point we both realized he couldn’t get away. I was looking at someone‘s scared child, and there was no reason to hurt him.

My own son though, who had walked out after me, didn’t have those parental controls. He popped knucklehead #2 several times. Forcing the guy to drive off cradling his eye. My son went into the house to call the cops with my wife.

I was still on top of knucklehead one, thinking, what’s next? I don’t know which cops are coming. Is it the one who shot Guillermo Medina? Is it the one who shot LeJoy Grissom? It was a moot point anyway because knucklehead #2 drove back and hit me in the back of the head a couple times. That did hurt. I rolled off knucklehead #1, saw knucklehead #2 just standing there. Then they scrambled to the car and drove off.

I initially acted with anger, and that prevented me from de-escalating effectively. I do feel love and responsibility toward my Black and Brown knuckleheads. I want these dudes to know what they did was wrong. But data makes me fear for their chances in our justice system. And as much as it irks me to have stuff stolen, I know the lives of my loved ones, including my knucklehead brothers and sisters, are worth more than what they steal. Their actions were like when a toddler punches you in the nuts. Someone REALLY just needs to tell them it hurts. Not lock them up or worse.

And importantly, police did not prevent this comically violent event. There is no response time fast enough. A world where BIPOC kids have equal access to prosperity stops this. Affordable housing, equitable education, good wages, physical and mental health care. THAT’S what we need. And it didn’t hurt that no one had a gun.

Also, my qualms about turning people over to the police were validated. One of the responding officers nearly molted when we brought up restorative justice. I’m glad I didn’t set him up to “kick a**” that day. Shout out to the Black officer though.

So don’t count this incident if you want to give money to the police. Don’t buy any military weapons in my name because I don’t trust you with them. And let’s talk about everyone’s right to live in a more just society.

Care Not Cops. Black Lives Matter.

Sebastian Hernandez

The Actors' Gang