Sacramento’s first African American police chief, talks about the controversial police shooting of Stephon Clark and the community’s reaction. (March 30)
Sacramento police are reviewing officers’ actions in the arrest of a 12-year-old African American boy, an incident that has sparked new accusations of police brutality in the city where Stephon Clark was killed in March 2018.
The boy was handcuffed and held down on the asphalt by officers, who placed a “spit mask” over his head, a recording posted by the local chapter of Black Lives Matter shows.
Sacramento attorney Mark T. Harris, who is representing the unidentified boy and his family, said the treatment cannot be tolerated.
“We want to make sure that the greater Sacramento community, the state of California and the world is aware of what happened to this young man, who was doing nothing more than trying to enjoy the benefits of a neighborhood carnival,” Harris said in a video.
Police said Tuesday they are investigating the incident that occurred on the evening of April 28, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Two Sacramento police officers helped a security guard after seeing the boy running from him, spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler told the Bee. Officers put a “spit mask” on him because he allegedly spat at officers while they detained him, he said.
Chandler said police released the boy to his mother, citing him for battery against a police officer and resisting officers.
The Facebook video shows a police officer and a private security guard handcuffing the boy. The guard can be heard saying that the boy had trespassed and asked people in a nearby Walgreens to buy products for him.
As the guard and officers walk the boy to a police car while restraining him, protesters shout that his parents should be there. The boy struggles, asking to be let go, and an officer can be heard asking if he spit on her.
“Yeah, I spit on you,” the boy says. “How do you like that?”
The boy can be seen kicking as the guard wraps his arm around the boy’s head. Police then bring him to the ground after the boy continues to resist.
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Officers hold him down on the parking lot, forcing him to stay lying on his stomach. When three more police officers arrive, one places what appears to be a white plastic bag, the “spit mask,” over his head.
“Look at that, look at that, police brutality,” a man can be heard saying in the 25-minute video.
Harris, the attorney, told the Bee the boy weighs less than 80 pounds and stands about 4-foot-8.
“Our police should know how to handle a tiny 12-year-old boy,” Tanya Faison, Sacramento Black Lives Matter founder, told the Bee.
The incident happened about a month after Sacramento activists commemorated the fatal police shooting of 22-year-old Clark. The officer who gunned him down after responding to vandalism report will not be charged, the state attorney general announced in March, triggering days of protests.
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