Why Did 9 Officers Beat A Black Teen For Jaywalking?

By Sameer Rao Sep 18, 2015

Police in Stockton, California, are being investigated for an incident in which an officer stopped a 16-year-old black teen for allegedly walking in a bicycle lane, then—when the teen didn’t immediately respond to the officer’s demands to sit down—held him down and beat him, along with eight other officers. 

The incident was caught on video and published to Facebook on Tuesday by a witness named Edgar Avendaño, who also provided his take on the events: 


Here’s the info of what happenedThe kid got stopped for "jaywalking" when he barely stepped out of the bus he was 2…

Posted by Edgar Avendaño on Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Other witnesses are audible in the video, shouting, “It’s a fucking kid! Get off him!” while the officer tells the boy to stop walking away and to stay put. 

In a statement to VICE, a representative of the Stockton police department said that the incident was under investigation, and that the teen, whose name has not been released, failed to listen to officers. It’s an account that’s difficult to verify because the officer wasn’t wearing his body camera at the time: 

“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 teen was reportedly given a citation and released from police custody to his mother later on, with police saying he was unharmed.

This incident is being criticized by many as another example of police using excessive and vindictive force against black youth who commit minor offenses.

(H/t The Daily Beast, The Young TurksVICE