The actions of a Baton Rouge police officer in the arrest of a black teenager are under surveillance.
Video, from Sunday, shows the officer pinning the teenager to the ground with an arm around his neck.
The officer involved had not been put on leave Monday afternoon, according to WBRZ.
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Video of a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officer violently arresting a 13-year-old black teenager on Sunday went viral on social media, prompting his department to investigate.
The video shows the anonymous officer pinning the teenager to the ground, an arm around the boy’s neck. Insider has chosen not to repost the video and is blurring the boy’s face in the screenshots.
“You are suffocating him! a viewer can be heard screaming in the video.
At the end of the 23-second clip, another officer is seen coming to help lift the boy and put the handcuffs on him.
In a statement, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge said she saw video of the “disturbing encounter” and promised a “swift and transparent review,” according to The Advocate.
Broome said she asked for police camera footage of the arrest to be released, but that would require court approval since the incident involves a minor, WBRZ reports.
Baton Rouge Police Department Chief Murphy Paul said the department is investigating whether the officer followed protocol when the boy was arrested, according to WBRZ.
Paul said the officer was not put on leave Monday afternoon, WBRZ reported.
The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider on the arrest and the officer’s status.
The police chief said officers received a call on Sunday about a group of teenagers arguing, some holding baseball bats, according to WAFB. The officers were able to calm the children and left without incident, the outlet reported, citing police.
The fight resumed 30 minutes later, however, and police returned to the scene, where they later arrested a 13-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl, according to WAFB.
According to WBRZ, the boy was accused of resisting arrest, assaulting a policeman and disturbing the police, while the girl was accused of resisting arrest.
Only the boy was taken into juvenile detention, but he was released to his family hours later, according to The Advocate and WBRZ.
The boy’s family hired civil rights lawyer Ron Haley to represent him, according to local reports.
“If this officer did not have a badge or uniform, and was an adult in the field with a child in this manner, he would be arrested,” Haley said, according to WAFB. “Nowhere should an unarmed 13-year-old who is not a danger to himself or to others be treated like an adult.”
Haley requested that the body camera images be released immediately.
“I appreciate Mayor Broome’s quick response and the promises made by Chief Paul. However, too many times in our community we see obvious police misconduct that is uncontrolled and unpunished,” Haley said in a statement, according to The Advocate. .
The Baton Rouge Police Department has faced multiple racial scandals in recent years, including allowing a white man – who admitted to killing a black beggar – to be questioned in August. In February 2019, a photo surfaced showing BRPD detectives wearing black faces in 1993.
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