NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A video posted online showing officers arresting a teenager in Norfolk has prompted an investigation, police say.
Norfolk police said in a news release the video, which surfaced online on Monday, shows two Norfolk officers arresting the juvenile in a parking lot around 12:50 p.m. Monday.
Video (App Users): Officers arrest juvenile in Norfolk
Police say the officers saw the 16-year-old male walking in the road in the 200 block of East 19th St. and stopped him on suspicious of truancy, being out of school during school hours. During the interaction, police say officers used pepper spray on the teen.
The Norfolk Police Department Office of Professional Standards has launched an internal investigation into the circumstances of the video, and both officers involved in the incident will remain on duty.
The juvenile who was arrested was later released to his parent after being treated, police said. Charges against the teen will be determined following the investigation.
The lawyer, Dan Scott, representing the juvenile in the video spoke to the media Wednesday regarding the incident. The teenager did not speak, but stood by as Scott made a statement.
“He did nothing wrong, he went home, he was released to his mother, that is not someone who should be charged with a criminal charge. He was on his way from school, that’s it,” said Scott. “We hope that police will not attempt to prosecute him for simply exercising his constitutional rights as an American citizen.”
10 On Your Side spoke to a witness who says he was leaving the gym and saw police pepper spray the young man. He says someone started recording on their phone and he went straight up to the officers to ask what was going on.
“The kid is, again, he’s upset, and his eyes are closed the entire time because he can’t see, and for the whole ordeal his eyes were closed. He didn’t have his eyes open and he had to comply and I was trying to tell him, you have to comply,” said witness Larry Ricks.
Ricks said he is all for community policing, but he feels this was the wrong approach.
He explained as they were patting him down, they discovered a pencil and an ankle monitor.
“The officer pulls a pencil out of the kid’s pocket and the officer looks at the other officer and says, ‘see this could have stabbed me in the face’ and at that moment I’m like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me. Are you serious right now?'” added Ricks.
A woman who says she knows the juvenile says members of the Huntersville community are upset by the arrest.
“He’s a good kid. All they do is play basketball all day long, they even take my 1-year-old, two-year-old, and my 10-year-old to the park and play with them, so that’s why I take to these guys,” said Keya Redmond. “He’s part of that group, I tell them all of the time they are good kids. They are not selling drugs. They are not doing anything.”
Police are asking anyone with information regarding the incident to contact the Office of Professional Standards at 757-664-6159.