A member of the Baton Rouge Police Department has been placed under investigation after a video surfaced on social media over the weekend. The recording shows an officer seemingly placing a 13-year-old in a chokehold as bystanders beg the officer to stop.
“You’re choking him," a person shouted.
The officer in question responded to a report that a group of teenagers was preparing to fight on a neighborhood street. Officers reportedly arrived on the scene and stopped the fight from occurring. Nearly 30 minutes later, a fight allegedly took place involving a 13-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. Both teenagers were arrested and charged with resisting arrest. The 13-year-old boy was also charged with battery of a police officer and disturbing the police.
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Mayor Sharon Weston Broome called the incident captured on video "concerning" and vowed to conduct a “prompt, transparent review."
"I have viewed the short snippet of video and snapshots shared via social media," the mayor stated.
"The actions I viewed prompted me to contact our chief of police to ensure he was aware of this situation."
The 13-year-old boy was held in a juvenile detention center before being released to his parent. It now appears that he is prepared to fight these charges and seek justice following the violent encounter.
“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,” Civil Rights attorney Ron Haley said.
“Nowhere should an unarmed 13-year-old, who is not a danger to himself or others, be treated like a grown-up.”
Video of such an encounter is not rare in recent American history. Next week, the country will watch on as prosecutors begin the trial of Derek Chauvin, the officer responsible for pressing his knee into the neck of George Floyd for nearly nine minutes. Elsewhere, attorney Ben Crump and his colleagues continue to seek justice in the deaths of Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor and several others. Closer to home, the Baton Rouge community continues to heal from the death of Alton Sterling.
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