California police officer under investigation after punching teen on video

“How many of these videos must we see before we do something about police violence in this country?”

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Recorded on a bystander’s cellphone video repeatedly punching a 14-year-old boy on the ground, a California police officer is under investigation for use of excessive force. After reviewing the video, Sen. Kamala Harris recently described the beating as “a horrific abuse of power.”

On Tuesday, the Rancho Cordova Police Department issued the following press release: “On April 27, 2020, a Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Officer with the Rancho Cordova Police Department was proactively patrolling the area of Mills Station Road and Mather Field Road. The deputy was in the area due to complaints from citizens about hand-to-hand sales of alcohol, tobacco and drugs to minors.

“It’s important to put video footage into context, especially in relation to a use of force incident. In this case, the deputy saw what he believed to be a hand-to-hand exchange between an adult and juvenile. As the deputy turned around, he lost sight of the adult, who left the area. When the deputy approached the juvenile, the juvenile was uncooperative and refused to give the deputy basic identifying information. He told the deputy he was 18 years old. Having reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was occurring, the deputy attempted to detain the juvenile so he could conduct further investigation. The juvenile became physically resistive at that time, causing the deputy to lose control of his handcuffs, which landed several feet away. The deputy attempted to maintain control of the juvenile without his handcuffs and while alone waiting for his partners to arrive and assist him.

“Ultimately, the deputy recovered tobacco products from the 14-year-old juvenile, which is presumably the reason for his resistance. The juvenile was cited and released to his guardians.”

On Thursday, a woman claiming to be the boy’s sister posted a video of the unidentified police officer incessantly punching the 14-year-old boy in the face and chest before violently yanking his arm. The teen did not appear to fight back in the video.

“He was 10 times the size of the boy,” Tanya Faison, the founder of Black Lives Matter Sacramento, told The Guardian. “He was armed, he was huge. The boy was tiny and he was clearly trying to protect his face. There is nothing an unarmed 14-year-old can do to validate the actions that this officer took.”

Faison added: “This officer not only needs to be fired, but he needs to be charged and convicted and that is the only way these things will stop happening.”

After reviewing the video, Sen. Kamala Harris took to Twitter and wrote, “This is a horrific abuse of power. This officer must be held accountable.”

Former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro also tweeted, “This video of a @RanchoCordovaPD officer beating a 14-year-old is sickening, and demands immediate action.

“How many of these videos must we see before we do something about police violence in this country?”

The Sheriff’s Office and Rancho Cordova Police Department have launched an investigation into the officer’s use of force against the 14-year-old boy.

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