Adding more steam to the already heated and racially-ignited conversation regarding police brutality and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a Cleveland transit authority officer who blasted a crowd with pepper spray during their peaceful event on Sunday (July 26).
A video recorded by one of the bystanders captures the white officer aggressively approaching innocent bystanders and bursting them with long streams of the pepper-spray. According to a statement from Cleveland’s Regional Transit Authority, transit officers were arresting a 14-year-old boy who was allegedly intoxicated during the event. They apprehended him from a local bus to a bus shelter, the report states, and a crowd surrounding the teen and the police developed after. It adds a questionable statement considering the video, alleging that the crowders “attempted to remove the juvenile from the car.”
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The statement calls the officer’s steady and drawn-out mace spray a “general burst of pepper spray” delivered to the crowd in an attempt to move them away from the vehicle the teen was being held in. Authorities claimed that the crowd was so excessive that the police cars were unable to get out of the area. Rapper Talib Kweli took to Twitter in protest along with other users:
This how we treat our citizens? WATCH officer pepper spray peaceful #M4BL attendees pic.twitter.com/J6J0iISXiR @flotus @potus @lorettalynch
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) July 26, 2015
According to Cleveland RTA, the juvenile was released to his mother on the evening following the incident and authorities will proceed with an investigation.