Did cops go too far in subduing a young suspect? Did an aggressive, uncooperative teenager provoke a violent confrontation? The answer may depend on whose version you believe.
The story unfolded in Toledo, Ohio, but it has spread across the Internet because of a YouTube clip that some say allegedly shows two officers using excessive force on a 14-year-old boy.
The incident happened last Friday morning outside a residential housing complex. According to the police report, the suspect, Trevor Casey, and three other males were loitering outside an address where none of them lived. Two officers in a patrol vehicle told them to leave the area, but Casey refused the order. Instead, according to the report, he "did a dance" in front of the vehicle.
The report alleges Casey continued to ignore commands to disperse and became belligerent when told he was under arrest. According to the report, Casey struggled with the officers for several minutes, hitting one of the officers in the chest with his arm, and wrestling and kicking with them while refusing to "go down."
In the report, the officers "applied joint pressure and body strikes to the suspect." They also used open handed strikes to the suspect's facial area before subduing Casey, who, the report says, had a bloody nose and swollen lip.
But the family's account offers a starkly different version.
In a statement, David Casey said his brother obeyed the officers' orders to leave the area, but walked away more slowly than the others. David Casey said one of the officers "walked up and started choking him." He also alleges an officer slammed his brother on the hood of the police cruiser.
According to the brother's statement, the officers punched and kicked Casey, and hit his face with a billy club before choking him until he couldn't breathe.
Casey was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, obstructing official business and disorderly conduct. He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries.
Casey, who is being charged as a juvenile, was released from custody and is home with his mother.
In a statement to CNN, Toledo Police Chief Michael Navarre said he could not comment on an on-going investigation but did acknowledge that the department is looking into the incident.
Chief Navarre also said the Casey's mother filed a formal complaint alleging excessive force.
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