Athens-Clarke County Police are under fire after a video of an officer restraining an emotional 10-year old Black boy to the ground while his father was being arrested surfaced on the Internet. Many are saying the officer used excessive force on a child who didn’t even understand what was really happening, and only caused him trauma.
The incident happened last week Friday. Officers responded to a report of domestic violence in an Athens home. They carried out the investigation and arrested the suspect.
While at it, the 10-year-old son of the suspect started running around and begged the officers not to arrest his father. A bystander caught the incident on camera and posted it on social media.
In the video, an officer can be seen pinning the boy to the ground on his stomach before forcefully holding his hand as if restraining him. Another officer is holding the boy on the shoulder. The boy can then be heard apologizing and the officer asks if he understands.
“How you gonna do a child like that?” one of the bystanders can be heard yelling in the Facebook video.
As the video caused outrage to social media users, the police department released the officer’s body camera footage and issued a statement.
From the bodycam’s perspective, the boy can be seen approaching the officers as they were leading his father to the patrol car. He was shouting, “Why? Why? He didn’t shoot nobody.”
The statement said that the boy was “emotionally distraught, and continued with the outburst, at which time our officer placed him on the ground.”
Moreover, the boy apologized and he was escorted to the police car to see his father. The boy asked for his father’s phone and promised to call someone who can bail him out before letting out a cry and patting his father’s head.
“When you get out, Daddy?” the boy cried. “I love you.”
The statement also said Chief R. Scott Freeman has ordered an internal affairs investigation because of a “juvenile involvement.”