A Baton Rouge, Louisiana police officer was captured on video arresting a 13-year-old Black teen has gone viral prompting an investigation by the Baton Rouge police department. The video displays the unnamed officer pinning the teen on the ground with his arm around his neck.
“You’re choking him!” a bystander can be heard yelling during the video according to Insider. At the end of the short 23-second clip shows another officer coming to help lift the teen up and put him in handcuffs. In a statement, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge says she had seen the video of the “concerning encounter” and promised a “prompt, transparent review,” according to The Advocate. Broome says she requested that police body-camera footage of the arrest released, however, that would require court approval since the incident involves a juvenile, WBRZ reports.
Chief Murphy Paul said the department is investigating whether the officer followed protocol in teen’s arrest. A police spokesman told Insider as of Monday, the officer had not been placed on leave. Paul says officers received a call last Sunday about a group of teens arguing, with a couple of them holding baseball bats, according to WAFB. Officers were able to calm the children down and left without incident, the news outlet reported.
However, 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 teen was charged with resisting arrest, battery of a police officer, and disturbing the police, while the teen girl was charged with resisting arrest. The teen boy was booked into juvenile detention, but he was released to his family hours later, according to The Advocate.
The boy’s family has hired the civil-rights attorney Ron Haley to represent the teen.
“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. “Nowhere should an unarmed 13-year-old, who is not a danger to himself or others, be treated like a grown-up.”