WATCH: Plainclothes Cops Snatch Woman off Streets, Threaten to Shoot her Family
The family of 20-year-old Shayla Piccini say all she did was hold up a sign as a police motorcade sped past them as they protested against police abuse last week.
But San Diego police claim she "swung her sign at the motorcade," which resulted in plainclothes cops snatching her off the street in front of her shocked family who demanded to know who they were and where were they taking her.
"You follow us, you will be shot, you understand me," one cop wearing military tactical gear threatens her family before they all speed off.
At this time, it is not clear what the sign said but it's a safe bet it did not say "back the blue."
According to ABC 10:
Piccini's mother said Shayla and her cousins spent the day at a massive protest in Downtown San Diego. After several hours, the group was walking back to their car when Shayla saw several police motorcycles driving past them. At that moment, Shayla held up her cardboard sign, according to her mother.
"The last motorcade cop was going by, and she was, 'like, oh, that's all of them,'" Piccini said.
She said what her daughter thought was an innocent act ended up getting her arrested.
You can hear a man say in the viral video that "she swung her sign at the motorcade."
San Diego police say detectives witnessed her step off the sidewalk and swing the sign at a passing motorcycle officer.
San Diego police have justified their actions so far saying the threat to shoot her family was a "valid announcement of use of force." They claim the cops needed to snatch her off the street and speed off because there was "a large crowd still in the area." But Piccini's mother say there were maybe ten to 15 people nearby.
Breann Piccini said it was only after she pinged her daughter's phone an hour away that she was able to confirm cops had arrested her. Up until then, she thought maybe her daughter had been kidnapped by a militia.
Police say they plan to charge Piccini with assault. Her mother says they will fight the charges all the way.
"This is exactly what's being fought," Breann Piccini told ABC 10. "You have innocent people with their hands up, telling you, 'Just tell me where she is going?' And that's the reaction. 'Don't follow us, or I will shoot you.' I ask that the next time you encounter somebody, please just treat them with a little bit of compassion, empathy, and understanding."
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit has assured an internal investigation will look into the matter more deeply.