California authorities say they are investigating disturbing cell phone that shows an officer beating a teenage boy.
The now-viral video, which was posted to social media Monday, captured an unidentified white cop struggling to detain the minor on the ground. A bystander filmed the 15-second clip and is heard shouting stop as the officer punches the kid before throwing him on his stomach and maneuvering his arm behind his back.
Twitter user @0hnana_, who claims to be the sister of the teenage boy, said the incident began over a Swisher Sweet—a brand of flavored cigars that is commonly used for rolling marijuana. Criminal defense attorney Rebecca Kavanagh has since tweeted that there were no drugs found on the boy, just the Swishers. She also noted that teen's family is calling for the officer's termination and are seeking criminal charges against him.
According to a press release from the Rancho Cordova Police Department, the incident took place Monday around Mills Station Road and Mather Field Road. The officer was reportedly patrolling the area after receiving reports about sales of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs to minors.
Sheriff's spokesperson Sgt. Tess Deterding said the officer saw what he believed to be an exchange between an adult and the boy. The officer approached the teen, who allegedly "was uncooperative and refused to give the deputy basic identifying information."
"Having reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was occurring, the deputy attempted to detain the juvenile so he could conduct further investigation," Deterding said. "The juvenile became physically resistive at that time, causing the deputy to lose control of his handcuffs, which landed several feet away. The deputy attempted to maintain control of the juvenile without his handcuffs and while alone waiting for his partners to arrive and assist him.
Ultimately, the deputy recovered tobacco products from the 14-year-old juvenile, which is presumably the reason for his resistance ... This type of situation is hard on everyone—the young man, who resisted arrest, and the officer, who would much rather have him cooperate."
According to the police department, the minor was cited and released to his parents.