A video showing a 12-year-old boy detained by police outside a Sacramento fast food restaurant in April are prompting a strong response online weeks after the incident. Sacramento police reportedly have said they are reviewing the way the officers handled the situation.
In a Facebook video posted by the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter the boy is seen being handcuffed in the restaurant parking lot by two Sacramento police officers and a man witnesses identified as a private security officer.
The video also shows the boy using profanity and struggling with the officers as they attempted to put him into the back of a police cruiser.
At one point a bag is placed over the boy's head. Witnesses suggested the officers were suffocating the boy, but one former law enforcement official has said that it was likely one of the standard issue mess bags officers may use to prevent suspects from spitting on them. Those reportedly do not obstruct breathing.
While it does not appear in the video that the boy was having difficulty breathing with the so-called "spit sock" over his head, Black Lives Matter and others are claiming he "was born with significant upper respiratory complications, and according to his mother and grandmother, suffered from breathing difficulties particularly when anxious."
In the Facebook video witnesses are also repeatedly heard demanding that officers stop choking the boy, though it does not appear that any of them ever moved their hands beyond his shoulders.
In a second video posted May 19 by California Black Media on YouTube the boy and his family are seen seated with his attorney, Mark T. Harris of the Ben Crump Law office in Sacramento. In that video Harris claims that the boy was attending a carnival when he was chased and accosted by the security officer before Sacramento police arrived.
"We will not tolerate our community, particulary our young people, being treated the way this young man was treated," said Harris.