A Florida police department fired one of its officers for choking a 17-year-old boy, a restraint tactic reserved for extreme situations.
Brian Livernois, 43, a former officer with the Largo Police Department was terminated on Tuesday, two months after a social media video titled, “White Largo Florid cop chokes black teen,” showed him leaning the boy over the hood of a squad car with his hands around his neck.
Largo Police Chief Jeffrey Undestad told Fox 13, "We take great pride in the positive relationship the Largo Police Department has with our community. Actions like this are not acceptable and violate the public's trust, which every employee has worked so hard to earn. This situation warranted the former officer's termination."
The teen’s mother Ann Arnold said she cried “tears of joy” when learning the cop was fired.
According to a case report sent to Yahoo Lifestyle by the Largo Police Department, on April 4th Livernois responded to a battery call after a suspect (who apparently resembled the kid in the video) hit a woman and threatened to shoot someone.
When the video starts, Livernois can be heard saying, “Do you have a problem with me?” The teen mimics the question and the officer answered, “Yeah, I do.”
“Do you want to buck up on me, dude?” asked Livernois. According to the police report, when the officer asked the teen to take his hands out of his pockets, he replied, “My hands aren’t in my pockets, they’re in my shorts. You scared?”
“I will jack you up,” replied Livernois. The report states that he also said, ”You want to f*** around with me?”
He pushed the boy against the car, with his hands around his neck, and the boy’s friends screamed to release him. Livernois said in the report that the teen was behaving in an “aggressive manner” and he wanted “to gain compliance.” He also wrote that the boy was in a chokehold for only “one or two seconds” and that he used “the minimal amount of force.”
Officer Livernois admitted in police transcripts that he did not try to de-escalate the heightened situation. The investigation found that he committed “Bullying, discourtesy or rudeness, which may include the use of profane, or abusive, or insulting language or action directed at another.” And that he prematurely performed a chokehold.
Yahoo Lifestyle could not reach the boy’s mother Ann Arnold for comment. "That hurt seeing that video, because I know my son," she told Fox 13. "I just want justice."
Arnold wants her son’s charges dropped and the officer to be held more accountable. "I feel like he should be charged," she told Fox 13. "And I will take matters into my own hands on this if he's not charged."
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