Off-Duty LAPD Cop Fires Gun During Altercation With Teens, Protests Erupt
“If it would have been a white kid this would have never happened.”
A plethora of videos have surfaced the Internet, showing what appears to be a dispute between a group of children and an off-duty Los Angeles police officer. While attempting to aggressively detain a 13-year-old Latino boy, the officer in question pulls his gun and fires it in a crowd of teens, reports the Orange County Register. The boy alleges in the video below that the officer verbally attacked a female friend, which led to the confrontation that occurred in a suburb of Anaheim, California on Feb. 21.
Throughout the incident, the boy and his peers both plead for the officer to let him go. To no avail, several of his friends attempt to break him free from the cop's grip. The incident was reportedly sparked by "ongoing issues" with students trespassing the officer's lawn.
The off-duty officer at one point says to the kid “you shouldn’t have made the threat that you were going to shoot me,” to which the teen replies, “I didn’t say that. Why are you lying. I said I’m going to ‘sue you.'”
In the end, it's the 13-year-old and a 15-year-old that get arrested by Anaheim police, not the off-duty officer who used his firearm amid children—this, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to The Huffington Post, demonstrators assembled Wednesday night in the neighborhood where the footage was filmed to protest the officer’s behavior. “If it would have been a [white kid] this would have never happened,” said Naui Oceloti Hitzilopochtli, one of the protesters. “White kids don’t go through this. Only people of Mexican descent or black people.”
HuffPost also spoke to an LAPD spokesperson who said on Wednesday (Feb. 22) that the department has launched an administrative investigation into the incident, although the off-duty cop isn't currently facing any charges.