Driver arrested on suspicion of pepper-spraying protesters after video goes viral


Police have arrested a Thousand Oaks woman after a online video allegedly shows her pepper-spraying protesters.

A group of demonstrators, who appeared to be teenagers, were standing on the side of the road chanting “Black Lives Matter,” when a driver at a red light rolled down her window and pepper-sprayed them, video footage shows. The video was filmed on Sunday at a protest in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

“Get her license plate,” a voice in the video says after the incident.

The video then moves behind the car to capture the plate, which read “LUVMYUX.” The driver was in a Lexus UX.


The incident came to the Ventura County Sheriff Department’s attention after it was posted to Twitter, Capt. Denise Silva said.

Detectives identified the driver as Amy Atkisson, 46, according to a department press release. The primary victim was a 16-year-old female.

“A racist white woman pepper sprayed me today for peacefully protesting, those are her plates Tik tok do your thing 😘 #blm #georgefloyd #fyp” read the caption on the TikTok video. The video has nearly 110,000 views and more than 34,000 likes on the platform.

Silva said her department received the video on Sunday and spoke with witnesses to gather more information.

“There wasn’t much more than was in the video,” she said.

Atkisson was arrested at home on Tuesday and booked for on suspicion of unlawful use of tear gas before being released as mandated by the state Judicial Council’s zero-dollar bail order. The order resets presumptive bail for people arrested for misdemeanors and many non-violent felonies to zero.

She has a court date set for July 31, the release said. The release also encouraged witnesses to contact Detective JD Eisenhard at (805) 494-8224.