An Alabama family is demanding answers after a 17-year-old was brutally assaulted by Troy, Ala., police officers in an incident that left the boy bloody and battered, his face swollen beyond recognition.
According to WDHN-TV, as reported by WKRG-TV, the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation said that it is conducting an investigation into the use of force by the Troy Police Department officers, issuing this statement:
On Sunday, Dec. 23, 2017, Troy (Alabama) police officers arrested a 17-year-old juvenile in the area of Madison Street at approximately 11:52 p.m. During the arrest, the juvenile was injured, and was transported directly to Troy Regional Medical Center. The Juvenile was later transported to University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham, and subsequently released. City of Troy Police Chief Randall Barr requested the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) conduct an independent investigation into the use of force by his officers. Chief Barr’s request was approved, and agents from SBI immediately responded to Troy, conducting interviews and collecting evidence.
In order to protect the juvenile involved and the integrity of the investigation, no additional information will be released by SBI until this investigation is closed. The completed investigation will be turned over to Pike County District Attorney Tom Anderson for presentation to a grand jury.
Ulysses Wilkerson’s family took to Facebook to share the horrifying images of the 17-year-old, who reportedly could need surgery for his injuries.
“Troy police officers did this to my son while he was in handcuffs,” Ulysses’ mom, Angela Williams, shared on Facebook on Sunday. “I hope that they body camera was on and they haven’t told me shit yet.”
The post had been shared almost 80,000 times as of Thursday.
Ulysses’ father, Ulysses Wilkerson Jr., also shared pictures of his son’s injuries, writing that “Troy police officers tried to kill my son.”
“He had trauma to the brain, swelling on the brain and a cracked eye socket in three different places,” Ulysses’ father told WDHN. “From all over the world, people are commenting they want justice.”
According to BuzzFeed, the incident started when Troy officers saw Ulysses walking behind a closed business downtown late Saturday night. When officers tried to interact with him (for whatever reason), Ulysses ran away. Officers chased him a few streets over before they started beating him.
WSFA-TV reports that the teen refused to comply with officers’ demands to put his hands behind his back. Police then used the quintessential excuse. They claim that Ulysses struggled and reached toward his waistband as if reaching for a weapon, leading officers to use physical force to restrain him.
Ulysses was then taken to Troy Regional Medical Center for treatment before being transported to the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham for further treatment.
According to WSFA, Ulysses was charged with obstructing governmental operations and resisting arrest. However, when he arrived for treatment, officers reportedly released him and dropped any charges they were pursuing.
“They had him handcuffed when we got in there; they said he was charged with obstruction of justice. The ambulance came to take him to UAB;they took the handcuffs off and dropped the charges on him,” Wilkerson Jr. told WDHN.
One witness who drove by the scene told WDHN that she saw officers surrounding the young man, who appeared to be unconscious.
“You could see the swelling of his face; you could tell he had a lot of bleeding. He looked like he was passed out or maybe in and out of consciousness,” Brittany Patterson told the news station.
Ulysses was released from the hospital but remains under medical observation and might undergo surgery after the swelling subsides.