People are asking questions after a concerning video made its way onto social media this week of a 14-year-old Toronto boy arrested and held down by three police officers. According to Global News, the incident took place shortly before 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday near Jane Street and Shoreham Drive in North York. Officers' body camera footage reportedly captured police questioning the teen before the arrest.
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However, in the videos shared on social media, the officers are seen pinning the teen to the ground and yanking his arms behind his back. The young man can also be heard calling for his mom, seemingly resisting arrest when one of the officers begins punching him, which people are calling an "excessive" and "unnecessary" use of force.
Police released a statement on Wednesday, claiming that the officers seen in the video were responding to complaints of loitering and drug activity when the arrest occurred.
“When the officers arrived on scene, they began investigating several people loitering and engaging in non-criminal drug activities which would have carried at maximum, a fine. One person refused to identify themselves as required by law, and after an interaction, caused the investigation to become a criminal offence,” the statement read.
The mother of the 14-year-old later spoke to CTV News while waiting for her son to be released from court. “I’m horrified,” she said. “I will never get that out of my memory. Every time I close my eyes, I can hear my son screaming for me. I can see the police officers punching him."
"He’s fourteen. He just got beat up by three grown police officers,” she continued. Many people on social media seem to echo his mother's sentiments that the use of physical force had gone too far:
14 year old boy gets brutally assaulted by police officers 31 division ... https://t.co/c8AEPPNS6c via @YouTube.… https://t.co/IOLeUh7NyW— ♔Starbwoyy ♈ (@♔Starbwoyy ♈)1566360571.0
The teen is due to appear back in court on Aug. 27.