WAUWATOSA — FOX6 News has obtained a statement from the mother of a 17-year-old boy who was punched by a Wauwatosa police officer during a controversial arrest caught on camera at Mayfair Mall.
The statement, issued to FOX6 News through a law firm, reads as follows:
“Last Friday, while I was attending a family funeral out of state, I received a phone call that no parent wants to get: my son had been detained by police. I was scared and worried about my son. I came home as soon as I could to deal with the situation.
When I got home, my fear turned into terror when I learned that my son had been repeatedly punched in the face by a police officer while a mall security guard held his arms behind his back.
As a society, we owe it to our children to do better and to hold accountable those who violate the constitutional rights to which we are all entitled.
No parent should have to witness their child being beaten by the police. No parent should have to worry that when their child goes out in public the people who are meant to keep them safe are actually a threat.
No child should have to live in fear that innocent behavior could result in an arrest. No child should have to fear that they will be punched in the face by a police officer.
My family is currently looking into all possible legal avenues available to us for what happened to my son on May 11th.
In the meantime, I ask that you respect my son’s privacy and the privacy of my family.”
Wauwatosa police on Monday, May 14 released surveillance video that police say shows more of the interaction between the officer and the 17-year-old boy following the controversial arrest on Friday, May 11. Police said it shows the efforts made by officers to try to talk to the group of teenagers leaving Mayfair Mall. Cellphone video shows the officer hitting the boy in the head twice — and a “use of force” investigation is underway.
Police said around 4:30 p.m., they received a call from Mayfair Mall security, requesting police assistance related to five males inside the mall acting disorderly and causing a disturbance. Officers responded, and one of the initial officers on scene located several of the involved individuals in the parking lot. The officer attempted to speak to those individuals and determine what was occurring.
Police said video circulating on social media, obtained by FOX6 News and posted below, "shows only a small segment of the interaction between the (17-year-old) suspect and the officer."
Wauwatosa police said on Friday -- "we are reviewing additional video (above) that shows the officer initially attempting to speak with the boy, and the suspect refusing to stop and speak with the officer. Further, the suspect began to physically fight with the officer who was attempting to legally detain the suspect."
The boy was arrested and cited for disorderly conduct, battery and resisting an officer.
On Monday, police said they've begun a "use of force review," and they've obtained surveillance video (released Monday -- posted above) "showing more of the interaction between the suspect and the officer leading up to when the cellphone video being circulated online and through media outlets actually begins." The man who recorded the cellphone video, Tyrone Jackson, said he believes the officer used excessive force.
"The officer told the young man to stop and he said 'I'm a minor. I don't have to talk to you. The young man kept saying 'call my momma, call my momma. I ain't did nothing,'" said Jackson.
Jackson said he heard the punches -- one delivered when the boy was on the ground.
"I heard it. It was like (slap). He went down right away. He used excessive force to me in my opinion," said Jackson.
Police said the use of force review will include a review of all video footage of the incident, including what led up to the suspect and officer interaction, witness statements and additional interviews.
“I can assure you that we take all situations seriously when they involve a use of force by our officers. We thoroughly review all incidents in which force is used by an officer and will do so in this incident, as well," said Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber in a statement Friday.
Teagan Waller said the new video has done little to sway her opinion of what she already saw in the cellphone video.
"I don't feel like he should have hit him. Period," said Waller.
On Saturday, there was a protest at Mayfair Mall and the Wauwatosa Police Department after video of the arrest and struggle between the teen, the officer and mall security went viral.
"We are tired of this. We are angry and this has to end," said King Rick with the Milwaukee Black Panthers.
The Milwaukee Black Panthers gathered outside the Wauwatosa Police Department on Saturday -- demanding the officer and security guard involved be fired.
"We are done being nice. We are done asking. We are demanding that our community receive better treatment," said King Rick.
From the police department, the demonstrators on Saturday headed to Mayfair Mall and into the management office.
"We are also calling for a boycott of Mayfair Mall from every African-American in the city and the county until things change," King Rick said.
Security and managers told the group they are being heard.
"The matter is being looked into and addressed," said Travis Nance, Mayfair Mall security director.
Demonstrators vowed they will continue to protest until they get what they want.
"No justice, no peace. No justice, no peace," the demonstrators chanted.