Tremaine McMillian was choked by Miami-Dade police officers after the 14-year-old black boy gave what they called “dehumanizing stares.”
The incident took place over Memorial Day weekend, when McMillian was reportedly rough-housing with another teenager at a beach. The rough play caught the attention of police on an ATV, who approached the teen and warned him to cut it out.
As the officers asked where his parents were, Tremaine McMillian reportedly walked away, prompting police to jump down and try to restrain him.
It was then that police said the black teen clenched his fist and gave them “dehumanizing stares.”
A cell phone video of the attack showed an officer restraining the teen, putting his arm around the neck of the boy.
“I feel that should never have happened,” said McMillian. “I don’t like it. I feel sad. He got in front of me on the ATC and he slammed my hand. Then he started choking me. Then my 6-week old Pit Bull mix named Polo got hurt and bruised his front paw when the police grabbed me and slammed me down. It makes me feel sad.”
Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta didn’t buy McMillian’s claim that he was protecting his dog.
“At that point we are not concerned with a puppy,” Zabaleta told the station. “We are concerned with the threat to the officer.”
Zableta said McMillian’s gestures were threatening to officers.
“Once he was approaching the road, the officers restrained him. Again his body language was that he was stiffening up and pulling away,” said Zabaleta. “Now you’re resisting officers at that point and when the hands are swinging and you are resisting officers, at that point you have to be taken into custody.”
McMillian’s family disagreed, saying the attack was completely unwarranted.
“My brother did nothing wrong,” said Kearra McMillian. “He didn’t say anything to the officer. He just kept walking. I guess they just got mad because he wouldn’t stop.”
After the black teen was choked for his “dehumanizing stares,” police charged him with a felony count of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.