Social media has been ablaze with a now viral video that shows a teen brutalized by a Stockton, California police officer. A woman in a shrieking voice is heard screaming, “He’s just a kid!,” as the 16-year-old teen is struck repeatedly by an unidentified officer. The teen is seen clutching his face in pain, blow after blow.
According to witnesses and media reports, the teen was walking in the buses-only lane and the officer told him to move from the lane. The teen allegedly spewed profanity at the officer and did not comply, which led to the physical altercation. The officer attempted to detain the teen and that is when the teen allegedly tried to grab the officer’s baton. The officer called for backup, twice, and his body camera was knocked off during the struggle.
However, a video of the encounter was posted to Facebook by Edgar Avendaño and has since gone viral. Avendaño writes, “Here’s the info of what happened. The kid got stopped for ‘jaywalking’ when he barely stepped out of the bus he was 2 feet away from the sidewalk when the cop stopped him for ‘jaywalking’. The cop was telling him to take a sit but the teen kept walking to his bus but the cop kept grabbing his arm & the kid took off the cop’s hand off his arm so the cop took out his baton & that’s when I started recording because everything happened too quick. He didn’t have to hit the kid with the baton & no need to call about 20 cops. And as you can see his body cam is on the floor. Smh.”
Some however feel that the teen escalated the situation by not complying. “Cops are confronted everyday with 12-year old boys having a gun or a knife. It’s always on their mind. A minor altercation can escalate into a tragedy for both involved. The teen should have just obeyed the officer,” states one commentator on social media.
Department spokesman, officer Joseph Silva says, “As law enforcement officers, we cannot allow anybody to take our weapons from us for the safety of the public. The officer called for backup twice because a large crowd of people were gathering, during the struggle, the officer’s body camera was knocked off.”
The unidentified teen was cited on suspicion of “failing to obey a posted sign and resisting arrest.” He was released to the custody of his mother.