Cameron Rader, a 17-year-old senior at Prattville High School, was pepper-sprayed by a police officer during a football game last Friday night in Phenix City, Alabama.
"I had my back to this officer talking to a girl who was standing behind me," Rader told the Montgomery Advertiser. "The cop yells at me, 'Hey son,' and tells me, 'Push me one more time.' I told him I didn't push him, and he like freaked out."
A video (below) shot by another student shows Rader being pushed by the unidentified police officer through the stands. At one point, the cop pepper-sprays the teen in the face.
"I was telling him to get his hands off me, to stop touching me, and then I asked what I did," added Rader. "You can see that on the video. I have my hands by my side. I'm being compliant, and he keeps pushing me. That's when he maces me. I couldn't breathe. It was in my throat and nose, and the fumes were burning my eyes. And it hurt for a long time."
Rader also claims the cop played down the incident to other officers.
"He was telling the other cops that over his shoulder that he could see me out of the corner of his eye and that I nudged him; those were his exact words," stated Rader. "I did not touch him. It's completely untrue."
Prattville High School principal Richard Dennis spoke to the police officer who released Rader into Dennis' custody.
The Phenix City Police Department told WSFA that police officers were trying to move spectators away from a railing that separates the football field from the stands. The officer used the pepper spray to remove Rader from the stadium, added the police department.
However, Rader's lawyer, Michael Kidd, is calling for an investigation into a possible Civil Rights violation.
"For [the officer] to feel like he had to use mace, there had to be some type of criminal offense that had been committed for him to be able to do that, and obviously there was absolutely nothing that was criminal on the part of anybody in those stands," Kidd told WFSA. "No one we've spoken to has said that Cameron did anything that they would've deemed to be inappropriate."
"With an officer at that point to be able to detain him and take him into custody as he did, using force to do that, he would've had to have some legal authority to do that. And without Cameron breaking any law, he doesn't have any authority to do that."