A police officer in Tampa, Florida, was recently caught on video slamming a teen skateboarder to the street, which the Tampa Police Department is defending (video below).
"He didn't say anything to me at all," 15-year-old Jay Huber told WTSP. "I was really scared and I flinched to get into the fetal position. He grabbed me and threw me on the ground. I kept screaming for help. I was like super-terrified. Everybody was screaming and telling them to stop."
Skateboarding is banned downtown, but Jay insisted, "We had permission from the security guard to skate there."
The Tampa Police Department said the skaters were warned earlier in the day, but Jay insisted that happened five hours earlier in a different downtown area.
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Tampa Police Department spokesperson Steve Hegarty said: "Our officer approached, and we have a classic case of resisting arrest. Once you tell somebody that you're breaking the law, if they continue to break the law, then you have to do something about it."
Hegarty was asked if the cop in the video did anything wrong. He replied, "No, ma’am."
The Tampa Police Department is not going do an internal investigation despite some outrage from members of the public.
Patrick van Kampen, an 18-year-old skater who was present during the incident, told Photography Is Not A Crime that the police came for him and the unidentified teen who filmed the incident, but they skated away.
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"I was trying to pull out my phone and I didn’t even have a chance," van Kampen stated. "I saw what he did to that other kid."
Van Kampen added that his uncle, a cop in Washington D.C. viewed the video.
"He said, 'That was very, very, very wrong, that is not how you handle the situation,'" van Kampen added.
According to van Kampen, the police were shouting, "Stop resisting" even though Jay wasn't resisting.
"I was shocked," van Kampen said. "We’ve never had problems before with Tampa police. We’ve skated in groups of 60 people and had no problems."
Van Kampen recalled that after he skated away, he quietly returned to see six police cars gathered where Jay was arrested.
"He didn’t have any warrants or anything, but they held on to him for 12 hours until his mother picked him up from the police station," van Kampen stated.
"Six cars for one kid," van Kampen added. "The smallest kid in the group."