Sacramento residents and activists around the country are voicing their outrage after a viral video showed police officers violently detaining a 12-year-old boy and placing a spit bag over his head.
On April 28, two Sacramento police officers saw a security guard chasing a boy. The officers then stepped in and attempted to help the security guard by detaining the child, Sacramento Police Sgt. Vance Chandler told the Sacramento Bee.
In the video, which was posted by Black Lives Matter Sacramento, the private security guard and two unnamed police officers are seen handcuffing the boy as bystanders demand his parents be called.
According to the security guard, the boy, who was identified by FOX40 as Isaiah, was asking people to buy things for him at a nearby Walgreens.
As the officers aggressively forced Isaiah to the ground, a bystander yells, “You’re doing this to a minor ... his parents should be here.”
Then the boy tells one of the officers, “Yeah, I spit on you all. How do you like that s---?”
Sacramento police officers then placed what they called a “spit hood” over Isaiah’s head while he was still on the ground.
Later on, Isaiah’s mother, Latoya Downs, arrived at the parking lot and was horrified by what she saw.
“I started getting nervous. My hand started trembling. I’m like, 'Oh my god, I hope this is not another Tamir Rice,'" Downs told FOX40.
Downs said when she arrived on the scene, the story police told did not match Isaiah’s mood.
"He was crying, he was scared. He was saying, 'Mama, mama, they won’t let me go,'" she told FOX40. "I didn’t know it was gonna get this bad. I said, 'I’m outraged. I don’t know what to do.'"
Sgt. Chandler defended the use of the spit bag, even on a child.
"The officers were trying to protect themselves," Chandler told FOX40. "The subject spit on the officer in the face multiple times and they put a spit mask on him.”
However, the family’s attorney, Mark T. Harris, says the police should have taken Isaiah’s age into consideration.
"It was shameful," Harris told FOX40. "I’ve been practicing for 40 years. Never have I seen an adult with a bag placed over their head, let alone a child."
Isaiah was eventually released to his mother and cited for battery against a police officer and resisting officers, Chandler told the local news station.
Now, Sacramento police are reviewing body camera footage of the incident and the viral video.
While the investigation is underway, Isaiah’s family is considering filing a lawsuit and asking for an apology from the police department.
Tanya Faison, Sacramento Black Lives Matter founder, said the individuals responsible “should all be held accountable.”
“Our police should know how to handle a tiny, 12-year-old boy,” Faison told the Sacramento Bee.