The incident went down at the city’s Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park late last week, and it was caught on video by a bystander. The video opens with a white female officer yelling for the Black male teen, Terion Forston, to “get on the ground” as she points her taser at him. Forston can’t be heard speaking in the video, but he seemingly doesn’t comply with the command. She then tases him twice, and he falls to the ground—shaking—after the second hit.
As Forston is on the ground, the officer yells at him to “Get on the f**king ground” and then forces him onto his back, presumably to handcuff the teen.
Cop seen tasering a teenager at fourth ward skate park for allegedly vaping. Did she abuse her power and take it too far? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/5M2gycSaBx— ATL Uncensored – Atlanta News (@ATLUncensored) March 25, 2022
An eyewitness named Brendon Aldridge provided his take on the situation.
“I was scared because, you know, past events, of police officers and Black people, you expect him to be shot, but she didn’t,” he began. “He was only vaping. She asked him for his I.D. He was being calm; he wasn’t being like, ‘No, F.U., I’m not going to show you my I.D.’ And she tased him. It was crazy because while he was on the ground, shaking, she was like, ‘Get down, get down,” like he isn’t on the ground right now.”
Aldridge added that the situation got “even crazier” after other officers arrived on the scene and were “dapping each other up, saying ‘What’s up?’, and hugging.”
“He wasn’t ready for that; that really put him in a situation that he was never supposed to experience at his age,” Chyanne Thomas, Forston’s aunt, said.
“I really can’t go to sleep right now, just because of that,” Forston added. “I was chilling; then I just hit a vape at the park, then she came up to me aggressive.”
A spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department also released a statement on the incident.
“On March 24, 2022, at around 4:30 PM, an officer assigned to the Beltline observed a male vaping in a city park. The officer encountered the male, advised him of the law, and advised him he could not vape there. The male walked away and continued to vape. The officer approached the male again and requested his identification to issue the male a citation.”
“The male refused to comply and physically resisted the officer’s efforts to detain him. The male continued resisting detention, and the officer eventually utilized her taser to detain him. After being tased, the male was placed into handcuffs without further incident.”
Aldridge says that the 17-year-old “seriously wasn’t” resisting arrest despite this statement.
The Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta NAACP are separately investigating the matter.