ARLINGTON, TEXAS - A formal investigation has been launched after controversial video of an Arlington Police officer arresting two teens went viral.
The mother of the 14-year-old and 16-year-old boys recorded the video on her cell phone after police hand-cuffed her 14-year-old son at the Addison Place Apartments on July 3.
Arlington Police say officers were called to the complex after a neighbor complained about a car burglary. They say the 14-year-old fit the possible description of a suspect involved in the alleged crime.
Latasha Nelson says her son had nothing to do with a burglary. She claims the teen was walking through the complex because she asked him to see if the pool was open. She began recording video on her cell phone, after walking outside to find officers putting her son in handcuffs. Nelson says the officers would not tell her where they were taking the teen.
“I am a black woman in America, and I love my kids. Do you know how hard it is to have 4 sons, and think every day, what could happen to them going out into the world? And when you sit here and tell me you are going to take my son somewhere and not let me know… it didn’t have to escalate like that," Nelson said.
The arrest escalated after an officer placed the 14-year-old in a patrol car. Video shows Nelson asking Officer Haning where they were taking her son, and the policeman said he would not tell her because she was being uncooperative.
Moments later, the officer is seen on video pushing Nelson’s 16-year-old son to the ground, and pulls him back by the face, before turning over the teen to handcuff him.
Next Generation Action Network published the video on social media Wednesday night. The activist group and attorneys are working with the Nelson and her family. They believe the Arlington officer abused his power and violated policies.
"It’s no secret, we’ve seen this repeatedly, not just locally but across the country," Attorney Kim Cole said.
Nelson says charges are still pending against her 14-year-old son. She says police dropped charges against her 16-year-old of interfering with the duties of a public servant.
Nelson explained, “If you don’t have the heart to just understand the fear that I went through, knowing they were just going to take my son somewhere and arrest, both of them… that is scary.”
Arlington Police issued a statement saying after reviewing the video, there are many questions. The Department says the matter requires a thorough investigation, including interviews with the officers involved and the family. The Police department says the investigation could take some time.
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