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Cops bust woman at gunpoint, and video sparks outrage. But she helped kidnap 2 actors, LA police say

A video of heavily armed police arresting an unarmed woman in Los Angeles sparked outrage on social media. But officials later said she was a suspect in a kidnap and ransom plot on two actors, Daisy McCrackin and Joseph Capone.
A video of heavily armed police arresting an unarmed woman in Los Angeles sparked outrage on social media. But officials later said she was a suspect in a kidnap and ransom plot on two actors, Daisy McCrackin and Joseph Capone. Twitter/Screenshot

The video, shot by a bystander inside a Starbucks, shows a black woman apparently being ordered out of her car and told to back up to officers, at least four of whom are pointing weapons at her.

The woman, who sports a ponytail and a striped shirt, has her hands up and walks backward toward the officers. She does not have a visible weapon.

As the video plays, someone is heard criticizing the tactics of the officers.

"Wow. She looks like the most unharmful person," one voice says. "Look at her, she's scared for her life. That is unnecessary." The camera moves off the woman and hovers over the police. One officer gives the woman a "come here" gesture with his hand.

"Wow, really? We got ... five guns pointed at this woman, at this unarmed black woman," the person says, as the woman continues to back up. "This is extra, this is humiliation." The video ends right as she begins to lie down on her stomach.

The video, which includes some graphic language, was posted on Twitter on July 2 where it was shared more than 60,000 times.

Many people questioned the necessity of the police response to the situation.

But the next day, Los Angeles police shared the tweet themselves and said the woman was "arrested on a felony kidnapping warrant & taken into custody without a use-of-force. She is being held on 1 million dollars bail."

Police later released more details and said the woman, identified as 25-year-old Amber Neal, was one of a trio of people accused of participating in a ransom and kidnapping plot against two actors that left one victim maimed and naked in a bathtub for 30 hours, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Police said in a news release that Neal and two other associates, Keith Andre Stewart and Johntae Jones, went to actress Daisy McCrackin's home on May 3, pistol whipped actor Joseph Capone, and then placed black hoods on their heads before driving them Jones' home.

McCrackin is a TV and film actress perhaps best known for her role in the horror film Halloween: Resurrection. Capone is listed in the Internet Movie Database as an actor "known for 'Fighting For Freedom' (2013), 'Pasta Today' (2011) and 'Jimmy's Cafe' (2007)."

Police say Capone was held naked in a bathtub for 30 hours without food, and an unsealed indictment obtained by NBC News alleges that the kidnappers "did unlawfully and maliciously deprive Joseph Capone of a member of the body and did disable, disfigure and render it useless."

Capone was also beaten, cut and had his eye "put out," the indictment alleges, according to the site.

Jones allegedly held Capone hostage while Neal and Stewart drove McCrackin to various banks in her own vehicle and demanded $10,000, police said, according to the LA Times. Eventually, she wrote Neal a check, which she deposited into her account, police said in a statement.

The alleged kidnappers then drove McCrackin home, where she escaped and was able to call police, officials said.

The trio collectively face 17 federal charges, including kidnapping, assault with a firearm, grand theft, mayhem, conspiracy and possession for sale of a controlled substance, police said.

Stewart and Jones face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted, and Neal faces up to life in prison. Bail for Jones and Neal was set at $1 million, and Stewart’s bail was $2.08 million, police said.

A Bridgewater, Mass., woman was able to fight off a man who police say assaulted and attempted to abduct her as she was out for a run. Gordon Lyons was arrested and charged with assault and kidnapping.



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