Officer Brian Livernois of the Largo Police Department in Florida was caught on camera choking 17-year-old Reggie Tullis, a Black teenager after he wouldn’t extinguish a cigar. The burly cop was fired after an internal investigation that determined Livernois violated department policy. The action was deemed racist by people who have viewed the video on social media.
The alarming video showed the officer cursing and threatening Reggie Tullis. Other teens in the video seemed to be trying to de-escalate the situation by appeasing and complimenting Livernois while encouraging Tullis to “chill, bro.”
Brian Livernois was aggressive throughout the filming of the encounter. At one point, he appeared to instigate a confrontation between himself and the child.
“You want to buck up on me, dude?” Livernois says, then asking, “You got a problem with me?”
“You got a problem with me?” Tullis replies.
“Yeah, I do,” he responded in a combative manner.
Livernois asked Tullis to remove his hands from his pockets. The two continued talking, although some parts of the video are inaudible. Then, Livernois says, “I’ll f—— jack you up right now. Do you understand that?”
The cop grabbed the teen by the arm, walking him over to his police car, stating he did so because “if he did have a gun and I — you know, deadly force had to be used, I wanted it captured on video.”
The teen raised his arms as Livernois says, “You want to f— around with me?”
A male voice off-camera was heard saying to Tullis, “Don’t resist … Don’t resist!”
Tullis never resisted.
Livernois slammed the boy against the hood of the cruiser. The racist cop grabbed the teen by the neck, with his right hand in the back and his left hand in front under Tullis’ jaw.
Two white teens, one male and the other female, who were with Tullis screamed at Officer Brian Livernois to let Tullis go. The officer shouted at the two and threatened the unidentified young man by telling him he was going to jail.
Largo Police Department saw the video after it was tagged on social media.
Livernois’ official report claimed Tullis was aggressive and that the child had his fists balled up as if he wanted to fight the cop who was double his size. He also wrote that he felt threatened and Tullis was the aggressor. Livernois attributed the chokehold to being a way to calm the teen down.
The officer was a seven-year veteran with the department.
Largo Police Chief Jeffrey Undestad released a statement, regarding the incident:
“We take great pride in the positive relationship the Largo Police Department has with our community. Actions like this are not acceptable and violate the public’s trust, which every employee has worked so hard to earn. This situation warranted the former officer’s termination.”
Now that the racist cop has been fired, battery charges should be filed against him. If the teens with the teen had been Black, the outcome would’ve been vastly different.