SACRAMENTO, Cal. – A video has gone viral across social media showing the arrest of a 12-year-old boy who was trespassing and then kicked and spit at officers when they tried to detain him.
But did the officers do anything wrong? The family’s lawyer says yes. The Sacramento Police says that their officers did what they should have, but next time might be able to learn from it and do a better job.
“The people involved, they don’t want to be in this position,” Sgt. Vance Chandler said. “So, we look at this and we stay committed to finding ways to make sure that we do all we can do to prevent this from happening again.”
Body cam footage was just released from the department. Watch the video below and tell us if you think the officers handled the situation properly.
Chandler suggested that the situation was not as dire as the public has made it out to be.
After the boy spit at the officers, they used a mask to stop the behavior. The spit mask looks similar to a plastic bag, prompting outrage by onlookers.
“Look at that, look at that, police brutality,” a man can be heard saying in the Facebook video.
“The juvenile spit in the face of our officer multiple times,” Chandler said. “And a spit mask was put on the juvenile. We want to make sure that our entire community knows what a spit mask is.”
Chandler explained that the mask has an elastic neck that allows for fast and easy removal. Police say the person can see and breathe through it and that the mask is meant to protect officers from bodily fluids.
The family’s lawyer said, “There was no spitting going on whatsoever.”
Wrong. Not only can you hear it in the video, but the child also admits to it multiple times while in custody.
He went on to say the mask was used to “intimidate”, “punish” and “humiliate” the boy.
The full 25-minute Facebook video is below.
The controversy surrounding the young boy’s arrest came after an onlooker posted the video to a Black Lives Matter Facebook page and it went viral, now over 300,000 views.
According to the story, the boy was snagged by the officers when they caught him running from a security guard. The guard can be heard saying that the boy was trespassing and asking repeatedly customers in a store to buy things for him.
The officers cuffed the minor and brought him to their cruiser. Onlookers got right up in the officer’s faces as they continued to deal with the boy’s struggles to free himself. He can also be heard repeatedly swearing at the officers and calling them racist.
The boy can be seen kicking at the officers, spitting at them, twisting and trying to escape. Eventually officers are forced to bring him to the ground.
Other units responded to the call and helped to try and control the situation.
“Yeah, I spit on you,” the boy can be heard saying. “How do you like that?”
He was eventually released into his mother’s custody, but police charged him with battery against a police officer and resisting officers.
Parenting in the United States has been called into question after scenario after scenario continues to show a clear lack of respect for authority by youngsters.
But now the family wants ‘justice’.
“It shouldn’t have happened, it shouldn’t have got this far, and I want justice, I want justice for African-American girls and boys,” the 12-year-old boy’s mother LaToya Downs said.
The family’s lawyer spoke out against the officers.
“We want to make sure that the greater Sacramento community, the state of California and the world is aware of what happened to this young man, who was doing nothing more than trying to enjoy the benefits of a neighborhood carnival,” he said.
— CBS Sacramento CBS13 (@CBSSacramento) May 22, 2019
But is this really an issue of police use of force? Or are we preaching to the next generation that they don’t have to comply with police orders? That they can’t just run away or tell an officer they aren’t going to do what they’re being told?
If parents don’t set a positive example for how to respect others, who will?
America needs a reality check. Pronto.