Shocking video showing police officers pinning 10-year-old black boy to the ground prompts severe backlash
Shortly after the video was posted, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department released a statement on its Facebook page on Monday and addressed the incident.
A shocking video has emerged showing two white police officers pinning a 10-year-old black boy to the ground in Georgia and then restraining him, later. The video has caused outrage on social and has sparked an internal police investigation. The incident came to light after the video, which was posted on Facebook on Sunday, by the boy's cousin Ariel Collins went viral on social media.
Shortly after the video went viral, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department released a statement on their Facebook page on Monday and addressed the incident, stating that they were reviewing the facts around the case.
"We have been made aware of a video that is making its way around social media involving two of our officers. We are reviewing the facts around this incident and will be publicly addressing the issue tomorrow. We ask that you remember we have made a promise of transparency to this community and have upheld that promise on multiple occasions," the police statement read.
The disturbing clip has reportedly been viewed more than 500,000 and times and has been shared over 14,000 times as of Monday.
The police department also released a press release on Monday afternoon explaining the incident. According to the statement, the boy seen in the video was "extremely emotionally distraught" over the arrest of his father and that the officers seen in the clip were attempting to "de-escalate the situation" in an effort to calm him down.
The video, which was captured on a cell phone by a woman named Ariel Collins, was identified as the cousin of the child in the recording. Collins, in her Facebook post, wrote that she the footage she took did not capture the instance when the officers slammed the young boy against a car.
The recording shows Eric, 10, who is shirtless, being pinned to the ground by two uniformed police officers. The officers can be seen pinning the 10-year-old to the ground, face down, in a patch of grass as one of the cops twists his arms behind his back while he holds a pair of handcuffs in the other hand.
The boy, who looks scared, tells the officer: "I am sorry," as the cop appears to ask him some question, to which the child nods and says: "Yes, sir."
The officer then can be seen telling the child that he will now let him get up and then releases him. The cops are then confronted by multiple women who challenge the way the officers handled the situation.
Collins, in her Facebook post, said that that the child did nothing wrong and was only trying to talk to his father, who was sitting in a police squad car, according to the Daily Mail.
The Athens-Clarke Police Department stated that the officers were present at the scene on Sartain Drive at 6.30pm on Sunday for a domestic violence report and eventually arrested the 10-year-old boy's father.
The press release from the law enforcement agency read: "Once in custody, the suspect’s 10-year-old child became extremely emotionally distraught. On more than one occasion, the other adults on scene attempted to restrain the child without success."
"As an officer was walking the suspect to his patrol car, the child attempted to block his path and again had to be removed and restrained by the adult family members," the release continued.
"As the boy’s dad was being placed in the back of the patrol car, the boy lunged at one of the officers, who caught him ‘mid-air and the momentum of the child launching himself caused the both of them to land on the patrol car," the statement added.
"The child continued to be emotionally distraught and continued with the outburst, at which time our officer placed him on the ground. While on the ground, the officer continued to attempt to de-escalate the situation, assuring the child that he was not under arrest and that he would let him up if he would remain calm. Once the officer believed the child had calmed down, he allowed him to return to his feet. The child continued to be emotionally distraught but was not resistant towards our officers," the press release stated.
The police statement also explained that the officers present at the scene also attempted to console the child and helped him understand what was happening to his father. They reportedly also let the 10-year-old speak to his father.
The police department, then, released a body camera video of the officer which reportedly appeared to support their account of the events.