Minnesota Teen’s Arrest Draws Scrutiny After YouTube Video

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Police Investigate Arrest Of 15-Year-Old St. Paul Boy.

The police department is reviewing what was captured in the cell phone video, but they also want to determine what happened before the camera started recording. Several church members told Weston they heard the police officer insult the two boys’ mother by calling her overweight and accusing her of being a bad parent. “They were insisting that the boy who was being arrested had done nothing, that the boy had started shouting at the officer after he insulted his mother in a very rude and profanity-laced way, and for that the officer grabbed the boy and threw him to the ground,” Weston said. Paul branch of the NAACP said Tuesday that his organization has started its own investigation into whether police used excessive force in the arrest of a 15-year-old boy at a church picnic over the weekend. Paul, cellphone video of the arrest is raising concerns about what happened—and what the incident says about relations between police and the community they serve.

Another child, whom Tyrell thought was from the neighborhood and not part of the gathering, tried to hit him with a stick and threatened to kill him, Tyrell said. Paul Fellowship Church issued a statement saying the events were traumatizing to those who witnessed them, and that church leaders are talking with police about how it all could have been prevented. “I have a deep respect for anyone with a badge, but with that respect comes high expectations and they were not meeting my expectations of police conduct,” Weston said. Martin said he has not seen the video — he intends to obtain a full copy — but has read news reports that allege the officer used profanity when talking to the boy’s mother. “From what I have seen, I think it warrants an investigation on our part,” Martin said. “In any event, the officer did not act professionally, at a minimum.” The incident began around 12:20 p.m. An officer identified an 11-year-old suspect, and was going to cite the juvenile for assault and turn him over to his mother when his 15-year-old older brother arrived.

Instead, the officer took him back to release him and told his mother, Edna Waddle, she needed to sign something, Waddle said. “He said, ‘Just get your (expletive) kid and get out of here,’ ” Waddle said, adding that she was flabbergasted. “He was like, ‘What kind of (expletive) mother are you? You’ve got your fat (expletive) up at the (expletive) picnic table eating at the buffet when your son just assaulted somebody.’ ” Tyree Tucker said he responded along the lines of, “Don’t say that to my mother. We’re going to get your badge number and have a complaint pulled on you.” Tyrell said his brother also called the officer, “You dumb bastard.” “I think this incident touches on broader issues,” Alex Weston, the church member who took the video, told the PiPress. “If it happened in a vacuum, it wouldn’t be as significant, but people I talked to in the neighborhood were concerned about an ongoing pattern of over-policing.

I hope this can be a starting point for the community to have a dialogue with police.” The leadership at Saint Paul Fellowship is distraught by the events following our service at Ryan Park last Sunday. The officer attempted to arrest Tucker for disorderly conduct, but he tried to pull away, and at some point, the officer and teen fell to the ground, Linders said. He said he posted his video online not to poison that work, but to promote it. “I want to start a conversation and a dialogue in the community because that was not a healthy community-police relationship that I was observing,” Weston said.

But despite our potentially differing perspectives, we are united in our love for God, for the family in our church who was deeply affected, and also in our desire to see healing for all involved. As the body of Christ, we are called to work as ministers of reconciliation, and are pursuing opportunities to foster increased communication and trust between the police and members of the community.

Two of those resulted in suspensions, one for conduct unbecoming an officer — but both suspensions took place about two decades ago, when Johnston was new to the force. Tonya Tennessen, the spokeswoman for Mayor Chris Coleman, said, “The mayor is confident that the chief’s review will be thorough and that he will take appropriate disciplinary actions if facts determine it’s appropriate.” Johnston has been with the department since 1994. The incident comes at a time when police-community relations across the country have been strained in the wake of several high-profile shootings of suspects by police and numerous protests against police use of force. In an interview Tuesday, Rashad Turner, the group’s leader, said plans are in the works for “a big event” to protest the arrest and how Johnston acted. “This is what we do. We want to try to be as proactive as we can, but sometimes, we have to be reactive,” Turner said. “More people are understanding that until we come together as communities and force the change, change isn’t going to come.”

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