A Pima County, Arizona, sheriff's deputy is under fire after video caught him tackling a quadruple amputee teenager.
A second teen recorded the incident, and it has gone viral on the internet.
What are the details?
According to KOLD-TV, the deputy was called to a group home where the 15-year-old teen resides after being abandoned by his parents.
The deputies reportedly arrived at the group home because an adult employee called authorities to report the teen knocked over a trash can and had been yelling. Further details about what prompted the call are not readily available at the time of this writing. Authorities determined that Immanuel was disturbing the peace and began trying to restrain him.
The unidentified deputy gradually loses his grip on Immanuel, who attempts to shake off the officer and move away. The deputy then tackles him, wraps his arms around the teen to restrain him, and shouts at him.
In the video, the teen — identified only as Immanuel — can be seen lying face down on the floor of the group home, screaming, clearly distraught, and demanding the officer stop shouting at him and let him go.
The teen eventually stops screaming, and the officer gets off of him, asking him what is causing him to scream and move when he was advised against moving. Immanuel tells the officer that he has no problem, but the cop towers over Immanuel, who is still lying on the floor, and shouts at him more.
"I will raise my voice to you whenever the f*** I want, you understand?" the officer can be heard shouting.
A teen, who was recording from the next room, can be heard defending Immanuel, saying, "Hey, you asked him a question, and he answered."
The officer loses it on the teen — later identified by the name C.J. — and demands that he leave. C.J. says that he's eating his breakfast and he's not allowed to leave the room.
The officer storms over to C.J. and tells him, "You're going to get arrested, too." Another teen takes over for C.J. and begins filming as the officer places C.J. in handcuffs and inexplicably slams the teen's head into the wall.
The unnamed deputy was not wearing a body camera at the time of the incident.
(Content warning: Rough language and graphic, disturbing footage)
Tuscon Cop Under Investigation After Wrestling Teenage Quadruple Amputee To The Ground www.youtube.com
The Pima County Sheriff's Department is now conducting an internal investigation into the highly disturbing incident.
Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman, who is representing Immanuel and another teen at the group home, told the Washington Post that the incident might not have even have gone public if it weren't for another teen in the home who recorded the incident on his phone. Deputies also reportedly shoved that teen's head into a wall.
“These are kids who have already been traumatized in some way," Feinman said, adding that if their parents had engaged in such conduct against the teens, those parents "might be arrested for child abuse."
Feinman pointed out that teens "act out all the time."
“Fifteen-year-olds who have not been through what Immanuel went through act out all the time," he reasoned.
Feinman added that he and his colleagues cried when they watched the footage.
Authorities arrested and charged Immanuel and C.J. with disorderly conduct.
"[I]t was horrific," Feinman said. "We're public defenders, so we have an iron stomach for a lot of things, but this was especially terrible."
After the story went viral, the Pima County Attorney's Office dropped the charges against both of the teens involved in the incident.
"These are kids who live in a group home because they can't live with their parents," he said. "This is exactly the type of person that law enforcement needs to protect and defend. Instead, we see them being treated like they're animals."