VIDEO: Mesa police officers curse at, grab neck of teenage armed robbery suspect pic.twitter.com/wcvnM1INaj— azcentral (@azcentral) June 9, 2018
Bodycam footage that emerged in the aftermath of an altercation Mesa police had with a teenager has led to another internal investigation of the Mesa, Arizona Police Department.
Days before this, the department faced backlash over surveillance footage showing police officers violently beating a man during an arrest.
On May 17, Mesa police responded to a 911 call which said that a male suspect had reportedly threatened a bystander at a Circle K convenience store, pointing what appeared to be a gun at him.
After police arrived, they ordered the boy and the 16-year-old girl accompanying him to lie on the ground. Both complied with instructions.
According to the footage, more police officers arrived to find the suspects lying on the ground. The two teenagers are then handcuffed. One officer places his foot on the back of the suspect’s head while he is still on the ground.
According to the police report, the officer places his foot on a pressure point to keep the victim from moving. The teenager is then yanked back on his feet. An officer continued to put pressure on a point near his ears as he is questioned about the whereabouts of the gun. The boy is then pushed against a squad car as he kept repeating, "I'm just trying to get home to my grandma."
As he continually denied the existence of a gun, police officers twist his arm behind his back. The teenager screamed out in agony.
The suspect was arrested and booked on multiple charges, including armed robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Earlier this week, Mesa police was accused of similar crimes after footage of police officers assaulting a 33-year-old man went viral. Police was called to the scene after a woman called to say her ex was threatening to enter her house. Police said that the man, identified as Robert Johnson, resisted arrest. His attorneys have denied these reports. Johnson was punched multiple times, thrown to the ground and flipped over.
Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista has said that he was “angry and deeply disappointed” by the content of videos showing police thrashing civilians. He has promised to set up multiple inquiries, both into the individual instances and into long-term trends in the department.
Thumbnail, Banner: Reuters, Mariana Bazo