A Boynton Beach police officer was caught on video sweeping the legs of a handcuffed 13-year-old, slamming the boy crashing to the ground.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave after the video surfaced, showing the man appearing to yell at the boy for talking before slamming the teen to the ground.
The boy in the video is 13-year-old Kevens Jeanbaptist, a student at Congress Middle School. Kevens said the incident started when a bus driver told him not to roll down the window. But Kevens said he is asthmatic, and when a classmate sprayed perfume it became difficult for him to breathe.
Jeanbaptist said he needed to opened the window, but the bus driver then called police.
When police arrived they put Kevens in handcuffs, and after a brief argument one officer kicked the 13-year-old boy to the ground.
“They said don’t speak when I was spoken to and the man spoke to me and said ‘be quiet I was talking’ and he slammed me, as simple as that,” Jeanbaptist said.
After that Kevens said the officer said nothing to him, but just put the boy in the car and drove him to school, then left.
Now the boy’s parents are furious, saying the officer should face immediate action for kicking the 13-year-old boy to the ground.
“You can’t treat the kid like that. He needs to be fired. Police have to serve and protect,” said the boy’s stepfather Rene Laguerre.
The incident has caused such an outrage that Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz took to the department’s Facebook page to assure residents that the attack was being investigated.
The department also released a statement about the incident:
We are aware of a video that is circulating the Internet involving several of our officers. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding this situation and have placed one of the officers on administrative duty. We are concerned as to the initial appearance of the video, and despite the fact that we have received no formal complaints at this time, we are committed to reviewing the situation in its entirety and taking whatever action is deemed most appropriate at the conclusion of our investigation.
The Boynton Beach police department has not disclosed the identity of the police officer who kicked the 13-year-old to the ground.