Merced, CA – Police stormed into a hookah lounge in the early morning hours on Sunday, July 9 in a manner that can be described as nothing short of terroristic. Video captured by a security guard at Chandelier’s Hookah Lounge shows us once again that all too often, cops are the ones who needlessly escalate situations into fear and violence.
The video begins with multiple cops screaming at patrons to back up, right after barging in with riot guns and batons. The crowd of people enjoying a relaxing Saturday night socializing at the hookah lounge are bewildered and frightened by this sudden act of aggression.
One cop fires a rubber projectile at a man who was being pushed backward by another cop, which causes even more panic as people are trying to flee the room. The video cuts to another segment after cops, with tasers drawn and pointed, have managed to put several people on the ground. Others are letting their frustration at this unprovoked violence be known, as we can hear one person shout, “Why the f—k are y’all doing this?!”
“The video was corroborated by multiple witnesses, including one black female UC Merced student. She said police first entered the building with flashlights. They left, and people resumed the event thinking the situation was over. But the police rushed back in with guns and Tasers drawn, causing the confusion and fear.
During all this, one officer slammed the student’s friend to the floor and sat on his neck. As the student began to protest, saying he can’t breathe, an officer shouted, stay back or I’ll shoot.”