A group of activists is calling for the police chief in south suburban Lansing to fire a white officer seen choking a black teenager on a video that has been viewed nearly 3 million times on social media.
At a press conference Wednesday outside the Lansing Police Department, violence interrupter and gubernatorial candidate Tio Hardiman called the incident a clear case of “police brutality” and “excessive force.”
Chicago Police torture survivor Mark Clements called the officer’s actions a “clear act of child abuse.”
As of Wednesday, the officer remained on active duty as police investigate the incident and the circumstances that led up to it.
A statement from police issued Monday read: “The Lansing Police Department is aware of the video that has been subsequently posted on social media regarding the incident, and had initiated an investigation into the matter prior to its public posting.”
That video had been shared on social media more than 2.8 million times as of Wednesday afternoon. It was posted by the aunt of the one of the two boys involved in the incident.
Police were called about 3:45 p.m. Saturday to reports of a fight involving a number of juveniles at 192nd and Oakwood. In the aftermath of the brawl, a white teen came into the off-duty officer’s yard bleeding from the face, police said.
The 15-year-old said he “was involved in a fight in which he was beaten up by several male black juveniles”
Another teen, a 15-year-old black boy, then came into the yard, also wearing a backpack, police said. The boy’s family said he was only there trying to help his friend who was injured.
Both boys “attempted to leave” but the officer told them to wait for police. When they refused, the officer “physically detained one of the juveniles,” the black boy, while the other filmed the incident with his cellphone.
On the video, the officer can be seen choking and threatening to strike the boy, while the other teen pleads for him to be released.
The boys were turned over to responding officers and taken home pending further investigation, police said. As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed in the case, nor the brawl that preceded it. That brawl, which a 911 caller said involved up to 30 juveniles, had already ended when police arrived.