Video footage of a teenage boy being beaten and tackled to the ground by police officers for "jaywalking" has surfaced on the internet amid tense relations between Black communities and law enforcement nationwide.
The incident occurred in Stockton, California after a 16-year-old exited from a bus and started walking in the bus lane, which is not for pedestrian use.
The kid was reportedly told to get out of the lane by an officer, but he did not oblige. The officer then tried to physically apprehend the boy who, according to the police department, used obscene language and resisted the officer.
"He was still in the bus lane, so he was actually trespassing. That's why the officer went over there to legally detain him," SPD information officer Joe Silva reportedly said in an interview with Mic.com.
When the teen failed to comply, according to Silva, the officer pushed back and the pair struggled over the officer's baton, which cannot be seen in the footage available.
Although the footage captured doesn't show how the incident began, what we can see is the officer using his baton against the teen and insisting that he turn around to be cuffed.
As the teen doesn't budge, but instead holds his face and cries, the officer calls for back up. About seven more cops arrive on the scene and four of them slam the teen to the ground, hold him down and cuff him.
Since when does it ever take four to seven grown men to detain an unarmed, non-violent teenage boy?
The situation is being investigated, but according to Silva the preliminary evidence shows the officers were "in the right."
The teen was reportedly cited for resisting arrest and for the Stockton municipal code for trespassing.
The teen was not obeying the officer's commands...we can see that. But, instead of using the word "resisting" to describe his defiant behavior let's consider that maybe this kid was afraid, confused, and in physical pain from whatever the officer was doing with that baton.
He's SIX-FREAKIN'-TEEN, he probably barely listens to his own parents not to mention, it's likely that he thought he couldn't get into much trouble for jaywalking.
The video footage indicates that the officer did not approach this kid with patience or in an advisory manner. If he had, the teen may have responded more respectfully.
This officer appeared to be forceful and confrontational in his handling of this boy, which is likely why his demands weren't well received. And again, why did it take FOUR cops to apprehend him?! The use of force may have been necessary, but is this not considered excessive?