Video of Washington officer kicking teen in back investigated
Teenagers in a scuffle Sunday night at the Central Washington State Fair scatter as Yakima police officers converge, a video shows.
“Get on the ground now!” an officer shouts as he and another officer appear to pepper-spray one of the teens, who staggers away, shows the video posted to Facebook by Jasmin Hernandez Cervera.
An officer then kicks the teen in the back, knocking him to the pavement, as another fair-goer objects, the 35-second video shows. A mom and a little girl watch as an officer warns the protesting man to step back before the video ends.
The video, posted Sunday night to Facebook, has been viewed 294,000 times and sparked an investigation by the Yakima Police Department, reported ABC News.
The officer, identified as Ian Cole, 31, who has been with the department four years, has been placed on administrative duties during the probe, reported KIMA.
“Maintaining public trust is one of our highest priorities, and in doing so, investigators will be collecting all available evidence as it pertains to a use of force review,” Gary Jones, interim Yakima police chief, wrote in a Facebook post Monday.
“I want to assure our community that use of force reviews are conducted in an objective, meticulous manner that requires layers of oversight,” Jones wrote. “Anyone with information concerning this event is encouraged to contact the department and share what information they may have.”
Attorney Bill Pickett, representing the 17-year-old boy shown in the video, said the teen was trying to protect his family when he was beaten by 15 other teenagers, reported the Yakima Herald.
The 17-year-old, who Pickett said was not among the four youths ultimately detained by police after the fight, plans to file a complaint with the city, reported the publication.
“The family wants justice,” Pickett said, according to the Yakima Herald. “They need to know that they are heard, and they need to know that this type of conduct is wrong and they need to know that this is going to stop.”