Lansing, Illinois police officers are currently investigating an incident brought to their attention by a viral video, where an off-duty police officer allegedly assaulted an African-American teenager named Jordan Brunson for being on the cop’s lawn.
According to the Huffington Post, the incident took place on Saturday, when the teenager’s friend filmed part of what had taken place in a 90-second video, which quickly became viral after being shared on Facebook. Both Jordan Brunson and his friend, who was merely identified as “Aaron,” are 15-years-old, and were accused by the unnamed, Caucasian off-duty policeman of trespassing on his lawn. For the entirety of the video, Jordan is being pinned down by the man, who made continuous, profane verbal threats at the two young men while holding Brunson down.
In one part of the video, the man tells Jordan that he’s “going to f**king kill (him),” and in another, he accuses the two boys of “acting stupid” when he’s simply trying to determine what’s going on.
Despite the boys’ attempts to rationally explain their side, the supposed off-duty officer remained unmoved and continued to have his hand around Jordan Brunson’s neck.
“Because your friend is being a f**king idiot,” said the man, allegedly pertaining to Brunson’s friend Aaron.
On Monday, a woman claiming to be one of Brunson’s relatives shared the video on Facebook, and in the two days since then, it’s been viewed close to 4 million times, according to the Huffington Post.
In an interview with Chicago news network WGN-TV, Jordan Brunson said that he was on the off-duty officer’s lawn, as he was trying to assist the boy identified as “Aaron” after he had supposedly been injured in a fight.
“I was examining him. I was going to go tell his grandmother.”
A statement from Lansing police quoted by the Northwest Indiana Times suggests that officers were sent out on Saturday afternoon, in response to reports of a fight involving about 30 juveniles. Neither Brunson nor Aaron was identified by name on the statement, though it was mentioned that two “subjects involved in the fight” had approached an off-duty police officer, thus necessitating his involvement.
“One of the juveniles had visible minor injuries, and the other was temporarily detained for further investigation until the arrival of on-duty officers. The juvenile’s parents were ultimately contacted, and they were transported home pending further investigation.”
Lansing Police Department press release on incident from June 24th and subsequent video posted on social media. pic.twitter.com/7b3bdjLDS2— Village of Lansing (@VillageLansing) June 26, 2017
In his own statement made to the Huffington Post, civil rights lawyer Andrew Stroth condemned the Lansing police officer’s alleged actions, stressing that the earlier fisticuffs had nothing to do with how the officer supposedly assaulted Jordan Brunson for trespassing.”
“The video speaks for itself. It’s yet another example of a white officer using excessive and unreasonable force against a 15-year-old black boy,” said Stroth.
“Based on eyewitness reports and the video, Jordan did nothing to provoke the unwarranted and excessive force used by the police officer.”
What happen to 15 year old Jordan Brunson in Lansing, IL is criminal and child abuse— Mark Clements (@MarkCle97237358) June 28, 2017
Lansing Illinois Police Dept @VillageLansing must FIRE that out of control public servant immediately!!! AND, we THE PUBLIC want his name.— CEA (@CEA_US) June 28, 2017
Social media users have largely reacted with disgust toward the Jordan Brunson video, referring to the off-duty cop’s actions as a case of police brutality, especially considering the fact that Jordan is African-American. Many are also calling for the Lansing Police Department to release the officer’s name and to dismiss him from the force for his alleged actions against a young black teenager.
[Featured Image by Marina Zezelina/Shutterstock]