LA Women Held at Gunpoint by Cops Over Rented U-Haul Mistaken for Stolen Vehicle Speak Out
Shibani Balsaver and Sheilanee Sen say they were terrified and feared their lives as LA police ordered them out of a U-Haul at gunpoint. The U-Haul had been mistaken for a stolen vehicle. Now the women are suing the LAPD, alleging excessive force.
Two women held at gunpoint by Los Angeles police officers after their U-Haul rented for a move was mistaken for a stolen vehicle are speaking out to Inside Edition. As Shibani Balsaver and Sheilanee Sen pulled up to Balsaver’s new apartment, they were immediately surrounded by police with their guns drawn.
“I was terrified. I thought, genuinely, that I was going to get shot,” Balsaver told Inside Edition.
Officers ordered the women out of the truck with their hands behind their heads. They were told to lie face down on the asphalt as a helicopter circled above.
“They didn’t tell us we were under arrest. They didn’t tell us why we had been stopped,” Balsaver said.
Baffled, Balsaver says she complied and did not resist. But video of the incident shows an officer placing his knee into her back and neck.
“In my mind, I thought that this was it,” Balsaver said.
Sen was also ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint.
“I’m completely confused, terrified,” Sen told Inside Edition.
Cops finally told the women they were suspected of driving a stolen U-Haul.
“I said, ‘Well, I rented it this morning, and the receipt is in the car,’” Balsaver said.
It turns out the U-Haul had been stolen and was recovered two weeks before she rented it. The women were released, but the damage was done — they were humiliated in front of the new neighbors. Now, they’re suing the LAPD for excessive force, assault and battery.
“What the video shows is a police response that is absolutely outrageous,” their attorney Brian Olney told Inside Edition.
Lawyers representing the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD officers deny the allegations and have asked for the case to be dismissed.
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