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Protest Erupts Over Cop's Handling Of Scuffle With Teens (Video)

| by Denise Recalde

Hundreds of protesters hit the streets of Anaheim, California, on Feb. 22 when a video emerged of an off-duty police officer firing a gun as he scuffled with teens for walking on his lawn (video below).

The officer was filmed dragging a 13-year-old member of a group of teens across a hedge on his lawn and firing a single round during the after-school tussle. No one was injured as a result of the incident, NBC News reports. 

Two of the teens involved in the confrontation, aged 13 and 15, were arrested. The unidentified officer has since been placed on administrative leave as police investigate the matter, said the LAPD.  

One of the arrested teens, identified only as Christian, stated he heard the officer curse at a fellow teenage girl who was walking across his lawn on Feb. 23, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

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The 13-year-old spoke up for the girl, a witness said. 

"The little kid said, 'I'm going to sue you,' and then the guy thought he said, 'I'm going to shoot you.' That’s when he started grabbing the little kid," said teen witness Gregory Perez, the Orange County Register reports. 

Christian later clarified he had said "sue" -- not "shoot" -- to the officer during the confrontation. 

Witnesses indicated the officer "did not discharge the gun toward anyone," Wyatt said, while drawing attention to the fact that the video of the scuffle doesn't depict the entire incident. Because of this, people should avoid "rushing to judgment," he said. 

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Violent protests later erupted outside the officer's residence over the filmed incident. 

In all, 24 protesters were arrested as demonstrators were accused of breaking windows, throwing rocks and bottles at officers and undertaking other acts of vandalism, Sergeant Daron Wyatt stated in a statement released Feb. 23.

The protestors also attacked the home of the LAPD officer, throwing objects at it, spray-painting his garage doors, and scratching his vehicle in the driveway, CBS News reports. 

Police linked the incident to "ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer's property." Reportedly, teens and children walk across the officer's lawn as part of a commonly used route to local schools. 

Sources: NBC News, CBS News, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, YouTube / Photo credit: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times

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