A Baton Rouge police officer’s actions during the arrest of a Black teenager are under scrutiny.
A video, from Sunday, shows the officer pinning the teen to the ground with an arm around his neck.
The officer involved had not been placed on leave as of Monday afternoon, according to WBRZ.
Video of a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officer violently arresting a 13-year-old Black teen on Sunday has gone viral on social media, prompting an investigation by his department.
The video shows the unnamed officer pinning the teenager to the ground, an arm around the boy’s neck. Insider has chosen not to republish the video and is blurring the boy’s face in screenshots.
“You’re choking him!” a bystander can be heard yelling in the video.
At the end of the 23-second clip, another officer is seen coming to help lift the boy up and put him in handcuffs.
Broome said she requested that police body-camera footage of the arrest be released, but that would require court approval since the incident involves a juvenile, WBRZ reports.
Chief Murphy Paul of the Baton Rouge Police Department said the department was investigating whether the officer followed protocol in the boy’s arrest, according to WBRZ.
Paul said the officer had not been placed on leave as of Monday afternoon, WBRZ reported.
The department 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 Sunday about a group of teens arguing, with some holding baseball bats, according to WAFB. Officers were able to calm the children and left without incident, the outlet reported, citing the police.
The fight had resumed 30 minutes later, however, and officers returned to the scene, where they subsequently arrested a 13-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, according to WAFB.
According to WBRZ, the boy was charged with resisting arrest, battery of a police officer, and disturbing the police, while the girl was charged with resisting arrest.
Only the boy was booked into juvenile detention, but he was released to his family hours later, according to The Advocate and WBRZ.
The boy’s family has hired the civil-rights attorney Ron Haley to represent him, according to local reports.
“If that officer did not have a badge or a uniform on, and was an adult on the ground with a child in that manner, he’d be arrested,” Haley said, according to WAFB. “Nowhere should an unarmed 13-year-old, who is not a danger to himself or others, be treated like a grown-up.”
Haley called for the body-camera footage to be released immediately.
“I appreciate the swift response from Mayor Broome and the promises made by Chief Paul. However, too many times in our community we see obvious police misconduct go unchecked and unpunished,” Haley said in a statement, according to The Advocate.
The Baton Rouge Police Department has faced multiple race-related scandals in recent years, including letting a white man – who admitted to killing a Black panhandler – go after questioning in August. In February 2019, a photo surfaced showing BRPD detectives wearing blackface in 1993.
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