People say a viral video of a police officer armlocking a 12-year-old boy shows an abuse of power.
The Oct. 6 video, shot at the Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, was shared on Instagram by the boy himself — Corey J., a child rapper with the stage name, Lil C-Note. “The fact that he snatched me & was trying to drag me around like I’m some criminal that’s stealing, robbing or killing or sum is crazy,” wrote Corey J. on Instagram and who did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle‘s request for comment. “But tha worst part is he trying to charging me with a #felony putting my hands on a #PoliceOfficer he say I tried to brake his fingers, he say I cussed him & he say I pushed him!”
In the video, the officer from the Cobb County Police Department holds Corey J. by his bicep and hand, and orders him to “stop.”
“You’re 12?” the office says to Corey J. “You’re about to go to jail. You’re going to go to a youth detention center if you don’t…”
The boy’s aunt places a phone call to Corey J.’s father while explaining to the officer that her nephew wasn’t misbehaving. “I have his father on the phone and you won’t even speak to him,” she says.
Corey J. asks the officer to release his arm and then the camera seems to be pushed away, suggesting a physical scuffle. The cop is heard telling the aunt, “You put your hands on me again…” while she replies, “You put your hands on my [expletive] nephew!” The camera then shows a mall security officer holding Corey J.
Activist Shaun King and other social media users defended the boy. “Racist white people love to say, if Black people didn’t act up this wouldn’t happen. Bulls***,” King wrote on Instagram. “White folk act up and act out non stop, but this type of stuff just doesn’t happen. Period. This is a little boy. He did nothing wrong.”
This incident just took place at the Cumberland Mall, Atlanta. Look how this officer to touching this young kid. He would never be treating a little white kid like this. Then he attacks the kids family for questioning his actions. So tired of seeing this shit. (via @queenyonasda) pic.twitter.com/V7YbDQ74je
— Jason Pollock (@Jason_Pollock) October 15, 2018
We need this man fired. Cobb County police inside Cumberland Mall. https://t.co/sWBffZHRuc
— Oouchie DaBoss (@oouchiedaboss) October 16, 2018
A commenter on Instagram also said that Corey J. once appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show for raising $10,000 from his music sales to donate to charity.
Representatives from the Cobb County Police Department and the Cumberland Mall did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. Police Chief Mike Register told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “The officer was in his legal rights to detain the juvenile. We take any incident like this very seriously.”
Register also told the newspaper that the boy had been issued a criminal trespass for selling CDs at the mall and, after getting caught again, the officer was called. He also said that the boy was “verbally combative” and that the officer grabbed him to stop him from leaving the scene.
Also, he said the boy “pushed or swung at” the officer and the aunt “physically attacked” him. Both the boy and his aunt were arrested, and the boy was released to his father.
Both family members face criminal charges. On Tuesday, during a press conference (see video below), when asked whether the officer was overly aggressive toward Corey J., Register said, “I feel that the officer was in his legal means to stop the juvenile from leaving the scene” but a same-day investigation would reveal further facts.
Register then brought up the “babysitting while black” controversy earlier this month — also handled by the Cobb County Police Department — about a white woman who called the police on a black babysitter caring for two white kids, and Register said the babysitter Corey Lewis set a positive example for how to cooperate with police. Corey J.’s aunt “could have been a de-escalator instead of an escalator,” Register said.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Mrs. America Pageant co-founder accused of making racist remarks: ‘You people need to stop killing each other’
- Trump supporter calls 911 on black Lyft driver for not turning on the radio
- ‘Cornerstore Caroline’: Woman calls the police on 9-year-old boy for sexual assault