A community organization called the Original Black Panthers of Milwaukee are demanding justice after a video surfaced on the internet showing a white officer punching a black teenager in the face.
According to the Washington Post, a passerby recorded the Wauwatosa police officer punching the black teenager while arresting him during an incident outside of the mall on Friday. Several media outlets report that mall security called the authorities over a group of young males causing a public disturbance.
During an interview with WISN-TV, Tyrone Jackson, the passerby who recorded the altercation between the white police officer and the black teenager, revealed that he really wanted to help the teenager, but he didn’t want to get himself in trouble by doing so. He also noted during the interview that he felt like the officer could have used a different and “better” type of force to arrest the teenager as opposed to punching the 17-year-old in the face.
“Honestly, I wanted to help. I wanted to help, but then I didn’t want to get myself in no trouble as well. So right is right wrong is wrong, and I feel like he could have used better force other than that, punching him in the face.”
The Black Panthers community group demands the police officer in the video either resign or be fired. Moreover, the community wants prosecutors to charge the officer for striking the boy. The community organization also wants the Wauwatosa Police Department to look into diversity training. The organization even wants shoppers to entertain the idea of boycotting the mall until justice is served. According to the organization, this type of discrimination and profiling happens all too often at this mall.
King Rick, the leader of the organization, spearheaded a protest with roughly eight members on Saturday at both the police department and the mall. He noted that the altercation was an example of racial profiling that frequently happens at that particular mall.
“Those dynamics have to change and we’re here to demand that they change.”
The Wauwatosa Police Department did issue a statement on Friday that the video showing the police officer striking the teenager in the face is only a small portion of what actually happened between the two. According to the statement, the teenager fought with the officer when he tried to arrest him. Currently, the teenager has been cited for disorderly conduct, battery, and resisting an officer.
Police Chief Barry Weber also issued a statement that their police department takes every altercation where use of force becomes necessarily seriously and reviews each incident to make sure the officer followed proper procedure.