ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A woman says Arlington Police offered to drop charges against her two teenage sons in exchange for cell phone video she shot that she says shows an officer needlessly pushing her older son to the ground and arresting him.
The Next Generation Action Network, a Dallas-based group that lobbies against police violence, posted the video on its Facebook page Wednesday and scheduled a news conference for Thursday that will include the boys’ mother, Latasha Nelson.
Dominique Alexander, a group spokesman, says Nelson alleges that police took her cellphone while making the July 3 arrests and offered to drop the charges in exchange for the video when she went to retrieve her phone.
WATCH CELL PHONE VIDEO HERE
“If you don’t have a heart to understand the fear I went through knowing they were taking my sons. That is scary,” said Nelson at a news conference with an attorney and the Next Generation Action Network.
“There is a clear demonstration of another instance of police brutality against young black males,” said attorney Kim Cole.
Arlington Police have released a statement on Twitter explaining why the teens were arrested.
Police said witnesses saw two teens breaking into a vehicle and found one matching the description and detained him.
The statement goes on to say:
The video starts at this point and shows two officers taking a teenager into custody.
After reviewing the video, there are many questions that will require a thorough investigation.
As will any allegation of misconduct we take this seriously. We want to maintain our position of transparency with our community by doing a complete and thorough review. This will include speaking with the family and the officers involved in the video.
The involved officer will remain on duty during an internal affairs investigation.
Police said the investigation will focus on the employee actions contained in the video as well as employee actions and that were not captured on the video.
Police said late Thursday afternoon, “We have reached out to the impacted family and are in the process of gathering all facts associated with this incident.”
A witness shot his own video of the controversial arrest of the two teens.
“I started recording basically right after the police officer punched him. So as soon as he punched him I was like oh no this is going too far I need to record this now,” said T.J. Harris.
Harris’ video reportedly shows Arlington police officers trying to take away the teens’ mothers cell phone where she had recorded her own video of the incident.
While Harris believes what he saw was an overreaction from police, one retired officer disagrees.
John Setser is a former SWAT officer from the Mesquite Police Department and currently serves as the director of security for Thompson Lehman.
He said after seeing the video he didn’t think the officers’ actions were questionable.
“I thought the officers handled it extremely well,” he said.
Setser said the officer acted courteous to the first teen and his mother by not putting him in handcuffs while taking him into custody.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)