Illinois authorities are now looking into a viral video (shown below) showing an Alton police officer pepper spraying two teens in handcuffs at police headquarters.
The video, taken in January, shows two teens sitting in a holding area at the Alton Police Department. An officer enters the room, says something and then pulls out what appears to be a can of pepper spray.
One of the teens twitches and shakes for several minutes.
“It’s infuriating to me to see this officer coming in and spraying these kids who are handcuffed,” James Gray, President of the Alton NAACP, said.
Gray noted that he doesn’t like the way Police Chief Jason Simmons is running the department and that his future will soon be determined by the Alton Board of Aldermen.
“He’s up for re-appointment but I do not think he should be reappointed, he has to know about this and possibly many more things like this they haven’t seen to me,” Gray said.
Simmons told News 4 that he has known about the incident since March, when a high ranking officer told him what had happened. It took the officer two months to report on the incident, according to Simmons, who received the official documents on May 6.
Simmons noted that the act raised a red flag and will be investigated by internal affairs before discipline is issued. Simmons added that the officer's delay in reporting the incident may be due to the fact that many officers do not like his reforms, and are attempting to oust him from his post.
Photo Credit: KTLA