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Video Shows Cops Wrestle a Black Teen to the Ground for Walking in the Street

At one point an officer appears to clip the boy in the face with a nightstick, but Stockton police say that the teenager was resisting arrest and that the officers complied with department protocol.
Photo via YouTube

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Police in Stockton, California, tackled a black 16-year-old to the ground and put him in handcuffs after he allegedly walked in a bus lane and refused to comply with an officer's request to get back on the sidewalk.

The incident was filmed by bystander Evan Avendaño, who gave his version of events in a Facebook post.


"The kid got stopped for 'jaywalking' when he barely stepped out of the bus he was 2 feet away from the sidewalk," Avendaño wrote. "The cop was telling him to take a se[a]t but the teen kept walking to his bus but the cop kept grabbing his arm & the kid took off the cop's hand off his arm so the cop took out his baton & that's when I started recording."

When the footage begins, the teenager is yelling, "Get off!" as he appears to be trying to push the officer away while huddled in a fetal position. The officer is pressing his nightstick against the boy, who also has his hands on it. A crowd had gathered as the two were struggling, and a woman can be heard shouting, "He's a fucking kid!" while the officer repeatedly tells the boy to "stop resisting" arrest.

"He didn't do nothing wrong," she yells. "That is a child that was jaywalking around here!"

When the teen juts his face out to the officer with his hands still on the nightstick, the officer wields it laterally and appears to hit the boy's face with the end of it. The boy holds a hand to his face and soon begins to cry.

The officer had called for backup, and eight other officers soon arrive on the scene. Four officers wrestle the teenager to the ground while the other five cordon off the area.

Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva told VICE News that the teenager had been walking in a bus lane and did not respond to an officer's request to get out of the street.


"For safety reasons, the officer told the young man to get on the sidewalk," Silva said. "After the teenager refused to comply and used obscene language, the officer went over and a there was a scuffle."

This part of the encounter is difficult to verify because Stockton police say that the arresting officer's body camera was knocked off during the initial altercation. That footage will not be immediately released, the department said, because of an ongoing investigation.

The use of force by the officers is now under review.

"Anytime an officer uses force there's an automatic administrative review," Silva said, adding that "the preliminary investigation is showing that the officers were within our policy."

"If everyone would just comply with lawful orders from the police," he added, "we wouldn't have to use force in the first place."

The 16-year-old was later released to his mother at the police station and given a citation. Stockton police said he was unharmed.

Community groups in Stockton have called for a demonstration on Thursday against police brutality.