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YMCA says ‘unacceptable’ force used by Kirkland Police during teen’s arrest

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KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The YMCA is calling for action against the Kirkland Police Department after the controversial arrest of a teen in September.

Surveillance video shows the Sept. 5 arrest of a 14-year-old at the Kirkland Teen Union Building. Police say they arrested him after several calls about petty thefts in the area.

The video shows the officer forcibly taking the teen down. The YMCA of Greater Seattle says the use of force was unacceptable, and that officers also pushed the center director and pointed a taser at another teen during the incident.

“The police officers’ behavior and the level of force were unacceptable and cannot be condoned anywhere in our community, especially in a safe place for teens,” YMCA of Greater Seattle President and CEO Loria Yeadon said in a release.

The YMCA had a community meeting Wednesday and called on the department to provide increased training to officers.

"We’re disappointed at the City’s lack of timely action,” Yeadon said in a release. “We feel it is necessary to bring this incident to the community to encourage the City of Kirkland to immediately complete its investigation, take appropriate disciplinary action, and improve protocols in the future to ensure the safety and respect for all."

The police department says they are taking the matter very seriously and are actively investigating. The department said in a release that on the day of the arrest, they received four calls about thefts involving the same group of suspects.

A victim of one of the thefts told police that a teen matching the description of a suspect went into the Kirkland Teen Union Building, which is why officers say they entered the building.

Police say the teen had an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor theft in Everett and is also facing a charge of misdemeanor theft in Kirkland.

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