A Stockton, California teen found out just how dangerous it can be to jaywalk while Black.
In a video taken by a bystander, a 16-year-old Black boy is seen being accosted, hit with a baton, and slammed to the ground by a group of officers.
His crime? Failing to heed an officer’s directions to get out of the street.
“For safety reasons, the officer told the young man to get on the sidewalk,” Stockton Officer Joseph Silva said. “After the teenager refused to comply and used obscene language, the officer went over and a there was a scuffle.”
According to Edgar Avendaño, who recorded the video, the cop approached the teen, grabbing his arm. When the young man tried to pull away the officer pulled out his baton.
“The kid got stopped for jaywalking when he barely stepped out of the bus he was 2 feet away from the sidewalk,” Avendaño wrote on Facebook. “The cop was telling him to take a se[a]t but the teen kept walking to his bus but the cop kept grabbing his arm & the kid took off the cop’s hand off his arm so the cop took out his baton & that’s when I started recording.”
During the video, a female witness can be heard yelling to the officer to leave the young man alone.
“He’s a fucking kid,” she says over and over as the officer struggles with the teen, eventually striking him with the baton.
When backup arrives, the woman keeps screaming at the officers to leave the teen alone, who she insists, did nothing wrong besides walk in the street.
The incident is under review by officials, but Silva told Vice News, it doesn’t appear his officers broke any rules.
“Anytime an officer uses force there’s an automatic administrative review,” Silva said, however “the preliminary investigation is showing that the officers were within our policy.”
Despite the troubling scene, Silva gave a little advice to the public: “If everyone would just comply with lawful orders from the police we wouldn’t have to use force in the first place.”
Right…tell that to James Blake.