On Tuesday, cellphone video showing some five Stockton, Calif., police officers violently arresting a teen for jaywalking went viral on social media. Since then, demonstrations have been held in and around Northern California to protest the use of force against the teen, who says he did nothing wrong.
Emilio Mayfield, 16, told CBS Sacramento that he was headed to school Tuesday morning when an officer approached him about walking in a bus lane.
A police report viewed by the Washington Post indicates that Emilio told the officer, "F—k you, I'm not stopping for you."
"The officer grabbed the suspect's arm, but he pulled away and took a fighting stance," the police report continues. "The officer used his [baton] to push the suspect to the ground and hold him there while waiting for backup."
A passerby filmed the incident from this point, and the footage appears to show the officer pressing the baton against the boy, who is curled up in a ball. The officer continues to shout, "Stop resisting," although it doesn't appear that the teen is, in fact, resisting.
The officer can be seen moving the baton toward Emilio's chest, and the two struggle over the baton. During the struggle, the officer appears to strike the teen in the face twice with the baton. Emilio then lets go of the baton and grabs his face.
The officer puts the baton away and yells at the boy to get on the ground. A bystander can be heard yelling, "It's a f—king kid! Get off him! He's been jaywalking! Leave him alone, he didn't do anything wrong!"
Several backup officers arrive and grab the teen, with five of them slamming him to the ground, while another four stand watch. Emilio is cuffed and hauled away.
Emilio told CBS Sacramento that he has felt "traumatized" since the incident.
"His baton is toward my chest, then goes to my neck, and he was choking me," the teen told ABC 10. "I can hardly breathe, and I'm pushing it back."
According to ABC 10, Emilio wasn't seriously hurt. He was taken to the police station and cited for trespassing in a bus lane and resisting arrest before being released to his mother.
Police spokesman Joseph Silva told the news station that a preliminary review indicates that the initial officer's action was warranted because the teen took hold of the officer's baton.
"As police officers, we cannot and will not let anyone grab onto or try to take away any of our weapons, not only for our safety but for the safety of the general public," he said.
Silva added that a formal investigation into the incident is under way. If Emilio is tried and convicted as an adult, he could face up to a year in jail. Emilio told CBS Sacramento that the incident does not define him.
"I see myself as a great young man, successful in school," he told the news station.