Video of teen's arrest prompts 2nd investigation of Mesa, Arizona, police

Bodycam video of a teenage boy's arrest has resulted in another internal investigation of the Mesa, Arizona, Police D...

Posted: Jun 9, 2018 2:10 PM
Updated: Jun 9, 2018 2:10 PM

Bodycam video of a teenage boy's arrest has resulted in another internal investigation of the Mesa, Arizona, Police Department. This comes just days after the department was criticized over surveillance footage showing the violent arrest of a man in a separate incident.

Mesa police released videos Thursday showing the arrest of the teenage robbery suspect, who at times screams in pain as officers search him for a gun.

The department said in a statement that two officers have been placed on administrative leave after footage of the boy's arrest was reviewed and that there will be an internal investigation.

Teen arrested at convenience store

Officers arrested the 15-year-old suspect on May 17, while responding to a call of an armed robbery, according to a statement from the Mesa Police.

According to a police report obtained by CNN affiliate KNXV in Phoenix, the suspect, who police said was a Native American, had allegedly threatened a bystander at a Circle K convenience store, pointing what appeared to be a gun at him. The suspect also used the object to smash the windshield of the man's car, the police report said.

One witness also told police the teenager said he had a weapon and was going to rob the store. The witness then saw him go inside, take some drinks and leave without paying, according to the report.

After police responded, an officer located the suspect and a 16-year-old girl, the report said. Both complied with the officer's commands to lie down on the ground, the report said.

The subsequent arrest can be seen in a series of videos the police have released. The footage was taken by several body cameras, showing the arrest at different angles.

In the videos, more officers arrived and found the suspects on the ground, complying with the first officer's commands.

The suspect hurls a string of expletives at the police, and one officer also uses profanities with the suspect while ordering him to stay on the ground.

Officers approach and put the suspect in handcuffs. One of the officers can be seen placing a foot behind the suspect's head while he is on the ground. The officer notes in the police report the boot was there to "keep him from getting up."

As police pull the suspect up and take him to a squad car, one officer can be seen in the video grabbing and holding the suspect by what the police report describes as a pressure point behind his ear.

The teenager is pushed against the squad car and repeatedly says, "I'm just trying to get home to my grandma." An officer again appears to hold the suspect by the pressure point near his ear while searching for a gun. The teenager begins screaming in apparent pain, continually denying he has a gun.

In the report, an officer said he "applied pressure to (the suspect's) mandibular angle pressure point below his left ear" to keep him from moving around.

In the footage, officers pull the teenager's handcuffed arms behind his back and toward his head, and he appears to react in pain.

Officers found a firearm, described as a rifle with both the stock and the barrel sawed off, in a backpack on a nearby porch, the report said.

The suspect was arrested and booked on multiple charges, including armed robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

CNN is not naming the defendant because he is a juvenile.

CNN also was unable to determine if the two officers placed on leave are represented by attorneys.

Use of force investigated in previous incident

Earlier this week, Mesa police came under scrutiny over its use of force after surveillance footage emerged of officers punching and kneeing an unarmed man in a May 23 arrest.

Police said the man, Robert Johnson, 33, resisted arrest and did not comply with commands. But an attorney for Johnson said he did nothing to provoke the officers.

Five officers have been placed on leave as a result of this case, according to the Mesa police, and an investigation is underway.

Police Chief Ramon Batista said he was "disappointed" by the footage of officers punching and kneeing the man.

Johnson told reporters Thursday he wanted officers to "be held accountable for what they have done."

Police chief calls for independent investigation

In a press conference on Friday, Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista said he was "angry and deeply disappointed by what I saw in those videos."

"It's unacceptable and it needs to stop immediately," he said.

As a result of the footage from the separate events, Batista said he asked the Police Executive Research Forum "to conduct a comprehensive and fully independent investigation looking into our use of force events over the past three years, as well as our policies, procedure and training."

Batista also asked former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley to undertake a separate independent investigation of the department, he said.

"It's essential that when this community interacts with our officers, they are treated with the utmost professionalism, no matter the situation," Batista said. "Quite honestly, that's not what I saw in those videos, and that will change."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 26°
Angola
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 25°
Huntington
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 26°
Lima
Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 25°
Wintry Mix & Snow
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events