Recorded on cellphone video tackling a 15-year-old quadruple amputee and assaulting another teenager in handcuffs, an Arizona deputy is under investigation for use of excessive force. After reviewing the footage, prosecutors recently decided to drop the charges against the teenage amputee.
On September 26, a Pima County deputy responded to a group home in Tucson after 15-year-old Immanuel Oloya allegedly knocked over a garbage can and verbally threatened a worker. A 16-year-old in the group home began recording a cellphone video of the arrest as the deputy tackled Oloya to the ground and held him down for over a minute.
When Oloya attempted to explain that all he did was knock over a trashcan, the deputy leaned over him in an aggressive manner and ordered the disabled teen to “shut the hell up!”
After Oloya told the deputy that he did not need to raise his voice at him, the deputy responded, “I will raise my voice and do whatever the fuck I want! Do you understand?”
The 16-year-old recording the incident attempted to defend Oloya by telling the deputy, “Hey, you asked him a question, and he answered.”
Visibly infuriated at the 16-year-old for speaking up against him, the deputy tried to intimidate the teen before placing him under arrest. While the deputy waited for his backup to arrive, the 16-year-old covertly handed his cellphone to another bystander who later gave the phone to a child who continued recording the arrests.
While cuffing the 16-year-old’s hands behind his back, the deputy suddenly slammed the teen’s head against the wall for no justifiable reason. According to the video, the teen was not resisting or fighting back when the deputy assaulted him.
Both Oloya and the 16-year-old were arrested on disorderly conduct charges. After reviewing the video of the arrests, the Pima County Attorney’s office dropped the disorderly conduct charges against Oloya.
In a statement, prosecutor Jonathan Mosher announced on Thursday, “Today, for the first time, our office saw the video from the September 26th, 2019 incident involving Immanuel Oloya. The Public Defender obtained this video and released it to news media, but our office was not given any opportunity to review this video until today. Upon reviewing the video, we have dismissed the charges pertaining to this incident.”
“Imagine you were this boy with no limbs who just got tackled by this large man with a badge and gun, and this man is now screaming in your face and he’s now threatening your friend who’s recording this whole incident,” Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman told KOLD. “Absolutely, that’s egregious.”
Feinman added, “Men with badges should not be acting this way. Men and women who do act this way should not have badges and guns.”
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation into the arrests after recently reviewing the video of the incident. The Pima County Attorney’s office has not yet determined whether prosecutors will drop the disorderly conduct charges against the 16-year-old who began recording the incident on his cellphone.
Oloya is currently considering filing civil litigation against the sheriff’s department. The disabled teen was reportedly placed in the group home after his family abandoned him.