Date: January 24, 2018
REMARKS BY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Good morning and thank you for joining us today. After reviewing this matter in full, I decided to hold a press conference and provide an update on the status of the Kevin Ferguson filing. The video you are about to watch received national media attention and was widely shared on social media when the incident took place in the city of Anaheim back in February of last year. Since that time, we have continued to receive calls and letters inquiring about the status of this case.
I feel the need to warn you in advance; this video is very uncomfortable to watch. It’s graphic in not only the actions taken, but in the language used by Kevin Ferguson, a 33-year-old off-duty police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who profanely confronted a female juvenile for cutting across his property. Apparently, this was an ongoing concern for the Fergusons, who live near a school. The young girl was one of four students walking home in a group that day.
A verbal exchange occurred between Ferguson and the juveniles. As you will hear in the video, at one point Ferguson called the young girl a very offensive and derogatory term at which time, one of the male juveniles she was walking with came to her defense, pointing out the inappropriateness of Ferguson’s behavior and conduct. The incident continued to escalate and lasted for approximately 16 minutes until Anaheim Police Department officers arrived on scene.
Before turning this over to Assistant District Attorney Brahim Baytieh of the Special Prosecutions Unit, who will show the video and provide additional detail, it is important to point out that we have a moral and ethical obligation to file only those charges that are supported by the evidence and can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Also, it is important to understand that we do not have jurisdiction over the discipline of police officers in other jurisdictions, so I will defer any such questions to the LAPD.
Central to the case at hand are two issues:
- Does the evidence establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Ferguson did not have a legal right to detain John Doe;
- and does the evidence establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Ferguson used an unreasonable amount of force while detaining John Doe?
I don’t believe there is anyone who watches this video who is OK with the way Ferguson handled himself. We just cannot prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt against him.
This concludes the formal portion of our press conference and we have time to take a few questions. Thank you again for joining us today.