Louisiana officer shown using chokehold on 13-year-old during arrest
The teenager was charged with battery of a police officer
There is an investigation underway after a veteran Louisiana police officer was shown pinning a Black 13-year-old to the ground and placing him in a chokehold during an arrest.
The controversy erupted on Sunday when a video uploaded to social media showed a Baton Rouge officer, who has been on the force for 12 years, with his arms wrapped around the teenager’s neck, The New York Post reported.
He was on top of the teenager despite pleas that he was a “little boy” and “wasn’t doing nothing!”
“You’re choking him,” one person is heard yelling in the clip.
The officer is then seen releasing the hold and placing the teenager under arrest. The incident is now under review according to Sharon Weston Broome, the mayor-president of Baton Rouge. Broome described it as “disturbing” in a statement.
Broom and Baton Rouge police Chief Murphy Paul held a press conference on Monday to discuss the viral clip. Broome understood the “significance of this moment,” given all that is taking place in the country.
“I want the community to know for me as Mia president that we were not stir around issues, shy away from any issues. I assure you that we were thoroughly investigating what has going on here and make sure that transparency is heightened and communication throughout this process” said Mayor Broome.
A decision hasn’t been made yet whether to discipline the officer involved who was responding to two disturbance calls of kids allegedly harassing others in the area according to Chief Paul. No arrests or citations were made but the officers returned an hour later to take two minors into custody on charges of battery of a police officer and resisting arrest.
The full footage of the body camera has been petitioned to be made public since it involves a minor. The family was given it on Monday and has also retained a lawyer Ron Haley to represent the boy. Haley confirmed that the teenager was charged with the battery of a police officer.
Haley told the Advocate that the teenager was released from juvenile detention on Sunday.
“I appreciate the swift response from Mayor Broome and the promises made by Chief Paul,” Haley said in a statement, according to the Advocate. “However, too many times in our community we see obvious police misconduct go unchecked and unpunished.”
“No unarmed child should be choked and manhandled by a police officer,” Haley said.
Haley reviewed the footage and declared in a press conference that it was excessive.
“If that officer did not have a badge or a uniform on, and was an adult on the ground with a child in that manner, he’d be arrested,” Haley said, according to WAFB. “Nowhere should an unarmed 13-year-old, who is not a danger to himself or others, be treated like a grown-up.”
The officer involved has not been placed on administrative leave and is still working.
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