Mom who filmed sons’ arrest claims police offered to drop charges in exchange for video
Natasha Nelson of Arlington, Texas, is the mother of two teenage sons, a 14-year-old charged with burglary and a 16-year-old charged with obstruction. She came forward at a press conference Thursday and claimed that the officer who arrested her older son carelessly pushed the boy to the ground for no reason.
Nelson told reporters that investigators have been contacting her all week to turn over the video in exchange for the charges against her sons to be dropped.
A Dallas-based organization that lobbies against police violence, called the Next Generation Action Network, posted the video that Nelson shared with their Facebook page on Wednesday.
Dominique Alexander, a group spokesman, mentioned that Nelson had backed her phone up with the Cloud system, which led to the group being able to post the video online, according to ABC News.
Nelson’s lawyer, Kim T. Cole, is also an attorney for the group. At the press hearing, Cole said that the family is trying to get the arresting officer, Chad Haning, charged with official oppression. They also want the officer to lose his job. They expressed the need for the charges against the two boys to be dropped, while also returning any property taken during the incident, including Nelson’s phone, ABC News reported.
Cole vented her frustrations regarding the way the officers allegedly handled the situation.
“This video is full of violations of police policy… They also unlawfully seized Mrs. Nelson’s telephone. It is not illegal to film a police officer in this state,” Cole told reporters at the press conference. “We’ve seen this repeatedly, not just locally but across the country, these young black men gunned down by police with impunity… She was terrified, and yes, she was rightfully emotional.”
A spokeswoman for the police, Sgt. Vanessa Harrison, said that someone reported that two teens were breaking into a car, and that is the reason that the police showed up on the scene at the Addison Park apartment complex where Nelson and her family live. The 14-year-old was was stopped because he fit the description of the person they were looking for in relation to the call.
The video of the arrests show the police walking Nelson’s 14-year-old over to a police car. Nelson is heard on the video asking where the police are taking the boy. Haning, the arresting officer, says on the video that he won’t tell Nelson where he is taking her son, because she has “become uncooperative,”according to the Star Telegram.
After Nelson has a short verbal exchange with Haning, her older son appears to walk behind the officer. This leads him to grab the 16-year-old and forcefully throw him to the ground.
There is nothing on the video that shows what led to Haning pushing down Nelson’s other son, because the video was pointed onto Haning’s chest and zoomed in. Nelson states that officer Haning grabbed her 16-year-old’s face, knocked off his glasses and shoved him onto the ground. She claims the officer then handcuffed him, ABC News reported.
Nelson expressed her outrage to the press on Thursday.
“I am a black woman in America, and I love my kids. Do you know how hard it is to have four sons and think everyday what could happen to them going out there in the world?” Nelson told reporters.
The investigation into the teens’ arrests is pending, Cole said. On Thursday afternoon, the video had 130,000 views on Facebook, according to the Star Telegram.