WAUWATOSA, WI (WITI) – A violent punch from a police officer to a Wisconsin teen can be seen on a video recorded by a bystander who says he “knew it was wrong” as he saw it.
Cell phone video shows the takedown in the parking lot of a mall in a Milwaukee suburb. A security guard and a Wauwatosa police officer struggle to arrest the teenager, before the officer hits the boy in his face.
On the ground, he is struck again multiple times before the officer secures the 17-year-old’s hands behind his back.
Tyrone Jackson said he had just left the mall when he began recording the video.
He said he knows two of the teens in the group from his neighborhood, and noticed they were being followed by a mall security guard.
When a police officer showed up, he started filming.
“When the officer got out of the car I said ‘stop,’ and got in front of the young man, and next thing you know he’s like, ‘Let me go!’”
Jackson began recording just in time to catch the punch.
“I heard it, and I was about like 10 feet back. I heard it … he went down right away,” Jackson said.
An onlooker is overheard expressing shock in the video.
"Why'd he punch him like that?" asks a woman. "Ain't he a minor?"
Wauwatosa police said the teen was with a group of four others who were acting disorderly and causing a disturbance.
Police contend the video shows only a small segment of the interaction between the suspect and the officer. They claim an additional video shows the officer tried to speak with the boy before he began to physically fight with the officer.
Jackson, however, said the arrest did not feel right.
“I knew it was wrong, that punch was wrong,” he said. “If it was just a tussling, trying to get him down, okay that would be something different. But the punch to the face, twice, to a minor, it was something serious to me.”
According to police, they came to the scene because mall security requested their assistance.
In a statement, Wauwatosa Police Captain Brian Weber said the department will “thoroughly review” the incident, which they do with all uses of force.
“I can assure you that we take all situations seriously when they involve a use of force by our officers,” his statement said.
The teen was arrested and cited for disorderly conduct, battery and resisting an officer.
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