A 16-Year-Old Was Repeatedly Punched In The Head While Being Arrested In Delaware
Delaware's AG is determining whether the use of force was appropriate.
A 16-year-old boy from New Castle County, Delaware, was punched several times by his arresting police officer. The Delaware News Journal reports the incident was caught on camera and is now under investigation.
His close friend Jaiden took the now-viral video of Roger Brown's arrest, which was posted by Jaiden's mother, Coleen Palmer.
The video begins in the middle of a struggle and shows Roger on the ground with one police officer restraining him as another pummels him with at least five visible punches to the head. The officer can also be seen reaching for his firearm as both of them yell, "Stop resisting!"
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Roger can be seen covering his head and squirming from the violent blows.
A third officer exits his squad car, runs up on Jaiden and attempts to stop him from recording the incident, telling him to go into the house. Jaiden can be heard responding that the officers are on private property.
ABC 6 reports the officers were responding to a drug-dealing complaint when they came upon Brown and Jaiden. Officers claim to have found several bags of marijuana, prescription medication and $1,000 on Brown's person.
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Following the release of the video, the Delaware Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust initiated an investigation into the incident led by state Attorney General Kathy Jennings. The New Castle County Police Department is also investigating.
"It's an internal investigation right now," said the police department's spokesman. "We always hold our officers to the highest standards of police conduct, and a complete review of this incident is underway."
Chris Johnson, the family's attorney, said the family believes excessive force was used in the arrest.
Mary Fleming, Roger's mother, also doubts the officers' account of events.
"I know that definitely was not his," Fleming said of the items police say were found on her son. "There is no way my son had a thousand dollars."
Fleming called learning that her son was in custody "the worst feeling in the world," and said, "It’s ridiculous, and I’m so upset. ... My heart is broken."
Brown faces seven charges including resisting arrest and possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. He was released from jail on Monday.
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