A fight broke out after a mob of more than a hundred teenagers gathered in a Massachusetts street. Now the officers who broke it up are coming under fire…
BROCKTON, Mass. – A video of a mob involving more than 100 students and the police officers that tried to break the group up has caused a group of community members to demand punishment for the cops involved.
Enterprise News reported that for the second time in two straight days, the Brockton High School campus in Massachusetts erupted into violence. But it’s how police handled the situation that has parents and members of the community up in arms.
On Thursday, police received a call from a teenager saying that a large group of other students were attacking him on Florence Street in Brockton. Other reports came in about a large gathering and fights happening on the same street, and officers dispatched to the area.
They walked directly into a mob.
“When officers arrived, they observed at least a hundred teens walking in the middle of the street,” said police spokesman Darren Duarte. “Many were causing a disturbance and refusing to get out of the road.”
Teens refused to comply with the officers’ demands to clear the area, and fired back with taunts, expletives and harassing remarks, sources said.
One of the teenagers allegedly shoved an officer, landing him in handcuffs and under arrest.
“The officer pushed him away, and the teen took a swing at him,” Duarte said. “A large crowd rushed to where the arrest was made. Police kept the crowd away, but officers ended up detaining three other teens – one who assaulted and began to fight with an officer.”
In total, four juveniles were arrested at the disturbance and now face charges including disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. Enterprise News reported that the 17-year-old was also charged with assault and battery on a police officer, interfering with a police officer in performance of duties and threatening to commit a crime.
School administrators say that they believed the previous day’s fight had involved the same students, Duarte said.
And now the officers from the scene are coming under fire after a 34-second video from Snapchat shot across social media. The video has some parents calling for the officers to be punished.
The video shows Brockton officers speaking with teens in a lawn area when one of the teens, who appeared to be using his cellphone to take video of the encounter. The teen who was filming had his phone smacked out of his hand by the officer. As he reaches to the ground to pick it up, the officer seems to throw an arm up at one of the teens, knocking him off balance.
But then the teen takes a swing back at the officer, the two go to the ground, wrestling with each other.
Other officers nearby converge on the area. As more teens from the group move in, more officers become engaged in physical fights with them. At least one officer can be seen holding his Taser. After the video was shared thousands of times online, Brockton police are now investigating the details of the incident.
“The Brockton police are investigating the case and all actions taken by the officers and the defendants,” Duarte said. “Investigators are following up with school officials and parents.”
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
Witnesses to the fight say regardless of the circumstances, the officer should have held himself to a more professional manner.
“The police officer should’ve restrained himself regardless of what the child had said to him,” said Sonya Lopes, a Brockton resident whose child is a freshman at the school. “It did not give him any right to smack the kid’s phone out of his hand and then hit the other kid. Clearly he must be dealing with some outside issues for him to react that way.”
Lopes reposted the video after seeing the footage, laying the blame on the officer.
“When I saw the video, I was extremely upset and posted it right away. It was totally uncalled for,” she said. “These are kids, they don’t know any better. We are here to teach them, not act like them.”
You can see the video below, though it does not show the large crowd that police had been breaking up – only the aftermath.
- READ: HE THREW MOLOTOV COCKTAILS AND CHARGED AT POLICE WITH A MACHETE. SUSPECT: I DIDN’T WANT TO HURT ANYONE.
School administrators are also confronting the issue by acknowledging that the fight should have never happened to begin with, and that they would be making strides to help the student body deal with their problems in a better way.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and will be working closely with the police to identify the involved students,” Interim Superintendent Michael P. Thomas said. “This is not acceptable behavior, and this not how we want our students resolving disputes.”
The administrators planned to meet individually with the involved students and their parents.
“We will work with the students to put measures into place to help them to understand the consequences of their actions and to learn to resolve their issues peacefully,” Thomas said.