San Diego cop tased, choked 12yo runaway boy (VIDEO)

Still from Youtube video by The Free Thought Project.
A San Diego sheriff’s deputy was caught on video tasing and wrestling a 12-year-old boy in a parking lot. Witnesses say the cop tried to suppress the video, while the sheriff argued the boy had attacked the cop and the use of force was justified.

Activists from Filming Cops shared the video with the Free Thought Project on Sunday. The graphic footage, riddled with expletives, shows a boy being wrestled to the ground and shocked into submission with a Taser. The altercation took place on Saturday, in the parking lot frequented by skateboarders in the community of Fallbrook, north of San Diego, California.

Witnesses who recorded the event told Filming Cops that the deputy punched the boy in the face before they began filming. They identified the boy as a 12-year old named Joshua. Afterwards, they said, the deputy approached them with a drawn Taser and demanded to see the recordings, erasing all but one.

(Warning: graphic language, violence)

At a press conference on Monday, Sheriff Bill Gore defended the deputy’s actions, saying the teen was a runaway, and that Deputy Jeffery Banks was merely trying to bring him home to his mother. He said the boy had been missing for about a day and a half, and had been reported as a runaway at least five times before.

When you see the video, the juvenile is struggling on the ground. He’s not obeying commands. He’s wrestling with the deputy,” the sheriff said, adding that the deputy only used a Taser after the teen bit his forearm.

In actuality what we had was an out-of-control juvenile,” Gore said.

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According to Jan Caldwell, spokeswoman for the San Diego County sheriff’s department, the deputy tried to take the boy home, and only used force when the teen “refused, gave him attitude, and bit the deputy on the hand during the confrontation,reported CBS8.

The deputy reached out to him at that point and he became combative and assaultive. He had his hands in his waistband part of the time so we didn't know if he had a weapon or a knife or a gun,” said Caldwell.

The use of force is never something pleasant to watch, believe me,” Sheriff Gore said at the press conference. He also denied that the deputy deleted or confiscated any videos from the eyewitnesses, claiming that he only made a copy for the department records. Gore praised that as “good policing.”

Gore also defended the use of the Taser, saying it “caused minimal damage to the suspect.” According to the sheriff, the boy’s mother apologized for his behavior.

Witnesses to the incident, however, described it as “terrifying.”

He said put your hands behind your back,” one of the teens told CNN affiliate KFMB. “[The boy] said ‘I can't. You're stepping on me.’ That's when they tasered him.”

Following his arrest, the boy was taken to Temecula Valley Hospital for examination. From there, he was taken to juvenile hall. According to reports in the local media, he has been charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.