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Florida police department under review after violent arrest of Black teen

Outrage over violent arrest of Black teen leads to administrative review of Florida police department
Photo credit: / YES Market Media

The arrest of a Black teenager on Memorial Day has sparked outrage and led to an administrative review of a Florida police department. The incident, which was captured on video, shows a 16-year-old being punched repeatedly by officers and later tasered, raising serious concerns about police conduct and the use of force against young Black people.

What happened on Memorial Day?

On Memorial Day, officers from the Lakeland Police Department were called to the Caroline Apartments over a complaint regarding pool usage by non-residents. The situation escalated when the officers approached a Black teen who allegedly refused to identify himself or provide his apartment number. According to the police, the teen was uncooperative and put his hand in an officer’s face, which was not captured in the video.

Community reaction and family outrage

The leaked footage of the incident has led to widespread criticism and calls for accountability. The teen’s mother, Jatae Lewis, expressed her disgust with the officers’ actions, stating that they should be there to protect and serve, not to harm children. Local activist and pastor Dr. Clayton Cowart also condemned the police’s actions, labeling them as ‘child abuse.’

Police department’s response

In response to the incident and the subsequent public outcry, the Lakeland Police Department’s Chief Sammy Taylor has initiated an administrative review by the department’s Office of Professional Standards. The review aims to scrutinize the officers’ actions during the arrest.

Legal charges against the teen

The teen faces charges of trespassing and failure to leave upon order, which are misdemeanors. Additionally, he has been charged with two felonies: battery on a police officer and resisting an officer with violence.

As the community awaits the results of the administrative review, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing concerns regarding police interactions with the African American community, particularly young Black males. In such cases, the need for transparent investigations and accountability remains a critical issue for advocates and citizens alike.

This incident is a call to action for continued vigilance and advocacy for just and fair treatment of all individuals by law enforcement agencies.

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