A cellphone video caught a 15-year-old quadruple amputee being held down by a sheriff’s deputy at least twice his size in Pima County, Ariz., at a group home. The video shows the boy, identified as Immanuel, screaming as he is held down by the officer’s body weight.
The video was first published on Thursday by KOLD and an internal affairs investigation at the Pima County Sheriff’s Department has begun, The Washington Post reported.
The video was recorded by another teenager at the home, Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman told The Washington Post. Feinman’s office is representing both children. From the video, both teenagers are Black, and the officers are white.
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The incident happened on Sept. 26. An adult at the Pima County group home called the police on Immanuel, who was abandoned by his parents because he was yelling and had knocked over a trash can. It’s not known what the boy was upset about in the first place.
The beginning of the video shows the officer holding the teenager in a headlock, as Immanuel becomes upset, asking the officer not to hold him down.
The boy recording the video, named C.J., was told to “shut up” by the officer several times when he tried to stand up for the quadruple amputee. According to the Post, a third teenager in the group home recorded C.J. being placed in handcuffs by the officer and, with no warning, the officer slammed C.J.’s head into the wall.
The teens were charged with disorderly conduct and jailed in Pima County, but the charges have since been dropped, the Post reported.
“These are kids who live in a group home because they can’t live with their parents,” Feinman told the Post. “This is exactly the type of person that law enforcement needs to protect and defend. Instead, we see them being treated like they’re animals.”