A school police officer in Santa Ana, California is being investigated after a passerby captured cell phone video of the cop putting a crying 14-year-old boy in a chokehold.
“Stop fighting me,” said the officer to the boy in the video.
“I’m not fighting you,” cried the boy. “Someone please help me.”
The struggle began after the officer stopped the 14-year-old from tagging a bench near the school.
“The officer sat him on the bench and bent him down,” described 21-year-old Elvia Fernandez, who captured the incident on her cell phone. “With his hands, he [the officer] pushed his face to his knees…then he put him on the floor and that’s when I started videotaping him. He put his whole body weight on him.”
At one point, Fernandez attempted to calm the boy down by speaking to him in a mix of English and Spanish, but the officer didn’t appreciate that.
“Stop speaking Spanish,” demanded the officer.
Santa Ana School Police Chief Hector Rodriquez refused the release the identity of the officer involved, but he did say that an investigation will prove whether or not he used necessary force to restrain the teen.
“He had an obligation to comply with the arrest,” said Rodriguez. “At one point, he bit the officer. The officer had to arrest him and control his movement because he was resisting. We look at any incidents regarding the use of force to see if there’s anything that was inappropriate on the part of the officer. My job is to be the final decision-maker in whether this was inappropriate or not ... to be fair to not just the officer but the young man that was involved as well.”
Fernandez says that she captured the incident on camera so that she could show the boy’s parents exactly what went on.
“I thought that little kid was like my child,” said Fernandez. “I’m a mother, I wouldn’t let that fly if it were my son and I’m pretty sure the little kid’s parents don’t know what really went on.’’
The Santa Ana School Police Department is currently investigating the incident.