STOCKTON, Calif. — Near the start of a video that shows the arrest of a 16-year-old boy in Stockton, two competing voices can be heard.
The first is that of the officer.
“Stop resisting,” he says, before appearing to strike the boy in the face with his baton. “Get on the ground.”
The voice of a woman witnessing the arrest asks: “Can you get off of him?” Then she screams: “It’s a kid!”
Video of the arrest was posted to Facebook this week and quickly garnered more than half a million views.
“The cop was telling him to take a sit (sic) but the teen kept walking to his bus but the cop kept grabbing his arm & the kid took off the cop’s hand off his arm so the cop took out his baton & that’s when I started recording because everything happened too quick,” wrote Edgar Avendano, who posted the video.
“He didn’t have to hit the kid with the baton & no need to call about 20 cops. And as you can see his body cam is on the floor,” he said.
Police told CNN the boy was arrested Tuesday for trespassing and interfering with a bus lane.
The officer saw the teenager walking in the lane and told him to get on the sidewalk for safety reasons, according to police spokesman Joseph Silva. He said the boy responded with obscene language.
The video of the arrest does not show this part of their interaction. It picks up as the two are already engaged in a scuffle.
Silva said the officer’s body camera fell off and he stopped to scoop it up and put it back on his chest.
The officer tries to arrest the teen, who resists and holds on to the officer’s baton, said Silva.
The officer then uses a “weapons retention technique” to get control of his baton back, the spokesman said, and calls for backup.
The video shows four officers arriving to the scene and forcing the teen to the ground to handcuff him. More officers arrive.
The teenager was taken to the police department, where he was later released to his mother after being cited for resisting arrest and violating municipal code for trespassing, Silva said.
Although what happened is under automatic administrative review, early signs indicate that the officer was within his rights, Silva told CNN.
“If everyone would comply with lawful order and not touch officer’s weapons, this could have been prevented,” the spokesman said.
Earlier this year, an officer in McKinney, Texas, slammed a teenage girl to the ground in an incident that was captured on video and sparked outrage.
In that case, the white officer — who subsequently resigned — cursed at several black teenagers, waved his gun at boys, and threw the 14-year-old girl to the ground.
Authorities in Stockton have not released the identities of the teenager or the officer.