The cop suspected the teen, who has a pre-existing medical condition, of possessing marijuana — which he did not have.
A California police officer is under investigation after he was filmed repeatedly punching a 14-year-old boy in the head.
The footage, shot in Rancho Cordova, shows the officer slamming the teen’s head into the pavement, after accusing him of possessing marijuana — which he did not have.
The video was posted by an older sister of one of the boy’s friends, and quickly racked up almost 6million views.
“RCPD brutally tackled and hit my best friend’s 14 year old brother today over a swisher sweet!” she wrote. “The officer had no reason to brutalize and traumatize this boy like this! He has a pre existing health condition which could be fatal under this kind of stress! Unjustifiable!”
Criminal defense attorney Rebecca Kavanagh shared the shocking clip after it was sent to her by the boy’s family.
“The child was not charged with marijuana possession,” she revealed. “Just resisting arrest.”
The only thing the teen had on him was a Swisher Sweet cigarillo.
Kavanagh also confirmed that the boy has a serious heart condition, and that the brutal arrest “could have had fatal consequences.”
“PS. Also let me clarify, the child didn’t have marijuana on him. Just a Swisher,” she added. “I think it matters zero if he was smoking marijuana, but there are a bunch of people in the comments already using that as justification for the brutality, so there’s that.”
The family are calling for the officer to be fired and face criminal charges.
n response, Rancho Cordova Police Department issued a statement confirming the incident was being investigated, and gave the officer’s version of events.
It explained the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Officer was patrolling the area due to complaints from citizens about hand-to-hand sales of alcohol, tobacco and drugs to minors.
“It’s important to put video footage into context, especially in relation to a use of force incident,” said Sheriff’s spokesperson Sergeant Tess Deterding. “In this case, the deputy saw what he believed to be a hand-to-hand exchange between an adult and juvenile.”
“As the deputy turned around, he lost sight of the adult, who left the area. When the deputy approached the juvenile, the juvenile was uncooperative and refused to give the deputy basic identifying information.”
“He told the deputy he was 18 years old. Having reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was occurring, the deputy attempted to detain the juvenile so he could conduct further investigation.”
“The juvenile became physically resistive at that time, causing the deputy to lose control of his handcuffs, which landed several feet away. The deputy attempted to maintain control of the juvenile without his handcuffs and while alone waiting for his partners to arrive and assist him.”
She said that ultimately, the deputy recovered tobacco products from the 14-year-old juvenile, “which is presumably the reason for his resistance”.
She confirmed the boy was cited and released to his guardians.
“This type of situation is hard on everyone — the young man, who resisted arrest, and the officer, who would much rather have him cooperate,” she added.
Sgt Deterding also pointed out the investigation is “in its infancy and the facts as we understand them now are subject to change as we conduct a more thorough and complete examination of the circumstances surrounding this incident.”