Police officers in the Village of Lansing, Illinois, are investigating an incident involving an off-duty police officer who was filmed holding a black teenager to the ground and threatening his life for being on the officers lawn.
Another minor filmed a portion of the Saturday confrontation, which relatives of the teen later shared on Facebook, where it went viral. As seen in the video below, an adult man straddles the teen and puts his hand around his neck.The man can be heard scolding the teen for coming onto his property and says,Im going to fucking kill you.
The Lansing Police Department confirmed to the Northwest Indiana Times that officials were investigating the incidentbefore video of the confrontation was uploaded to the internet. A Tuesday statement from police said that the confrontation was related to a larger fight that had broken out among about 30 juveniles earlier in the day.
Andrew M. Stroth, a civil rights attorney who is representing the teens family, identified him as 15-year-old Jordan Brunson and identified the teen who filmed it only as 15-year-old Aaron.
Stroth told HuffPost that police had not filed any charges against Brunson or Aaron. Lansing police officials have not released the officers name.
Warning: The video below is graphic and contains explicit language.
A woman named Ann Falls, who claims to be related to Brunson,shared the video on Facebook on Monday. It has been viewed nearly 4 million times.
In the video, which lasts a minute and a half, the off-duty officer tells Brunson that he is trying to figure out whats going on and you guys are acting stupid.
When Brunson tells the man that he is not involved in this, the man says, I dont give a fuck who is. Do you understand that?
Why are you doing this to me then? Brunson asked, to which the man replies, Because your friend is being a fucking idiot, apparently referring to Aaron, who is filming them.
Police Chief Dennis Murrin said the officeris still on active duty, according to the Northwest Indiana Times.
Brunson told Chicago news station WGN-TV that he was trying to help his friendwho had been injured during a fight and went to sit on the officers porch.
I was examining him, Brunson told the news station. I was going to go tell his grandmother. Brunson also said that the man never identified himself as a police officer.
When asked about Saturdays confrontation, a spokesperson for the Lansing police directed HuffPost to statements released Monday, which said that the off-duty officer became involved when he was approached by two other subjects involved in the fight.
One of the juveniles had visible minor injuries, and the other was temporarily detained for further investigation until the arrival of on-duty officers, the statement said.
In a second statement released Tuesday, Lansing police said that officers were dispatched Saturday to a fight involving numerous juveniles.
Officers arrived after the fight had ended and met a 12-year-old black juvenile who said that a 15-year-old white teen had given him a beverage that may have contained drugs. After the 12-year-old told his family what happened, his older brother confronted and fought the 15-year-old, causing the 15-year-old to suffer minor injuries on his face. The teens involved in the fight were not named by police. Further interviews revealed that there were no drugs involved in the incident.
Tuesdays statement also said that later Saturday, the off-duty officer found a backpack containing a baseball hat and a BB gun in his backyard, then he saw the injured 15-year-old on his property. The teen told the officer that he had been in a fight with several black male juveniles, according to the press release from the police department.
A black 15-year-old reportedly then approached the injured teen and the off-duty officer on the officers property. According to police, the officer told both teens to stay put until police arrived, but they refused, resulting in the off-duty officer physically detaining one of the juveniles.
Stroth, whose law firm investigates police brutality, called the officers actions unwarranted and excessive, and he said that the earlier fight between the juveniles were unrelated to the officers treatment of Brunson.
The video speaks for itself. Its yet another example of a white officer using excessive and unreasonable force against a 15-year-old black boy, Stroth told HuffPost. Based on eyewitness reports and the video, Jordan did nothing to provoke the unwarranted and excessive force used by the police officer.
Brunsons family has not pressed any charges against the officer, though Stroths law firm is conducting its own investigation into the incident.
A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday morning at the Lansing Police Department, where activists are expected to protest the off-duty officers actions, according to Stroth.
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