The California police department is under fire after nine police officers were caught on video forcibly slamming a teen onto a sidewalk and arresting him. His crime? Jaywalking.
Witnesses told RT the 16-year-old was walking near a Stockton, California bus depot early Tuesday morning when a police officer saw him jaywalking in the bus-only lane instead of on the sidewalk. The officer yelled at the teen to sit down, but the jaywalking teen ignored the officer and kept walking towards the bus.
Edgar Avedaño, who recorded the video, commented on the jaywalking incident on a Facebook post.
“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.”
According to Raw Story, Stockton police representative Joseph Silva said the officer told the teen to stop jaywalking and to get on the sidewalk for “safety reasons.”
“After the teenager refused to comply and used obscene language, the officer went over and a there was a scuffle.”
The video shows the officer pinning down the jaywalking teen on a brick landscaping wall and beating him with a baton. A bystander watching the incident can be heard screaming in the background.
“It’s a f****ing kid! Get off him, he’s been jaywalking. Leave him alone, he didn’t do anything wrong!”
The officer can be heard telling the jaywalking teen to “stop resisting.” The officer radios for backup and at least eight other officers arrive. The officers then lift him up, move him several feet and slam the jaywalking teen down on the sidewalk.
Four officers pinned down the jaywalking teen, handcuffed him, and pulled him to his feet. He was heard sobbing as he was led to the patrol car. According to NBC, Officer Silva said the officer who had originally held down the jaywalking teen had called for backup because a crowd was forming.
“If everyone would just learn to comply with the lawful orders from police officers and not try to hold or grab any of our weapons, force would never have to be used.”
The jaywalking teen was cited for trespassing and resisting arrest. On Thursday, his family filed a formal complaint. Although Silva said the officers acted within policy, a formal investigation of the jaywalking incident will still be conducted.
Under California law, a pedestrian may generally cross a roadway anywhere along the road without jaywalking, but there are exceptions. In California, jaywalking is an infraction, not a misdemeanor, and jaywalking can carry fines up to $191.
[Image via YouTube screenshot]