An El Paso, Texas, police officer has been placed on desk duty and is under investigation after video surfaced featuring him pulling his service weapon on a group of unruly children.
The video, which was initially posted on Facebook, has since gone viral, with over 5 million views and over 69,000 shares.
What did the city officials say?
According to the El Paso Times, the incident occurred on Thursday after police were called to a report of criminal trespassing.
City officials have said that the unidentified officer — who has been with the department for four years — is being investigated as a result of his actions in the video.
Dionne L. Mack, El Paso deputy city manager, and Sgt. Enrique Carrillo, El Paso Police Department spokesman, said during a joint news conference on Saturday that a child and an adult were arrested for interfering with the duties of a police officer.
“We have assigned additional resources to ensure the investigation can be completed expediently,” Mack said.
During the news conference, Carrillo said, “The initial call went out as a criminal trespassing in progress. The officers arrived and were handling that when they encountered the suspect involved in the criminal trespass and from there the events you witnessed in this video unfolded and that is where we are at.”
Mack added that internal affairs will investigate as to whether the police officer violated any policies.
“The whole investigation process with IA will determine whether the officer followed protocol, look at all of the related incidents that surrounded that, take an opportunity to [do] interviews,” Mack explained. “And go through that entire process, so all the facts and data are gathered before any conclusions are drawn.”
According to the Times, no injuries were reported.
What did the officer do?
The video, which runs over five minutes, shows an altercation between a police officer and a boy. Other children were crowded around the officer and the boy, with many of them shouting profane and lewd comments.
As the kids refuse to give the officer space, the officer pulls out his weapon, points it at the group and yells “Back up!” several times. The officer quickly re-holsters his weapon after a second or two as the children continue shouting profanities at the cop.
At this point, the officer calls for more officers to respond to the scene, and can be heard asking someone off-camera “You again?”
When backup arrives, both officers detain the original boy in question and pin him to the ground, handcuffing him as the crowd begins to swell.
The officer then can be seen brandishing his nightstick and warning the crowd to back up, but a woman steps up and begins shouting profanities at the officers. When approached, the woman runs away.
The crowd refuses to disperse, and members of the crowd continue to hurl expletives at the officers as more cops arrive on the scene. The video ends with an officer coming up to the woman recording the video.
You can watch the video below.
(Content warning: Rough language):