NYC Teen Tasered By Police After Mistaken Identity

amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 10, 2020 in New York City. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 292,000 lives with over 4.3 million cases.

NYC Teen Tasered By Police After Mistaken Identity

Clarence Roberts says he tried to get away from a police incident but a cop attacked him anyway.

Published 2 weeks ago

Written by BET Staff

New York Police Department officials are investigating the use of a taser on a 14-year-old boy who says cops accused him of throwing objects at them by mistake, according to the New York Daily News

Clarence Roberts, who lives in the Bronx told the newspaper officers tased him in the back on May 24, causing him to black out, fall to the ground, split his lip and lose a tooth.

“I didn’t know I got tased,” saying he thought he simply tripped. “And the officer says, ‘I didn’t trip you, I tased you ... And that’s what you get, motherf*****r!‘”

The teen said he was with a cousin and two friends in the Crotona section of the borough around 9:10 p.m., trying to make it home before his curfew 20 minutes later, when he saw an incident involving police. He paid little attention to it and kept moving. “It was none of my business,” he told the Daily News.

About six blocks away from the incident, a group of NYPD squad cars drove up on their group.

“My friends and I, we panicked,” Roberts said. “We got scared, so we ran toward 178th and Crotona. The cop that tased me, he comes out from the corner and he tases me. I felt a shock. I fell face first. I couldn’t brace myself. My eyes blacked out and I just fell face forward.”

He was placed in handcuffs and taken to a nearby hospital where he was cuffed to a bedrail and had his legs shackled. NYPD policy is to notify a parent or guardian when a juvenile is arrested, but a nurse from the hospital was the one that reportedly called Roberts’ mother, Winter Bose.

Upon learning the news, she rushed to the hospital and found her son chained to the bed, and in tears. She wouldn’t let him look in a mirror for fear he’d become more distraught.

Roberts was released 2 a.m. that morning without being charged or given a summons. A police report, however, said he was accused of disorderly conduct. The NYPD told the Daily News that other summonses had been issued to individuals who were accused of throwing objects at police from above.

But Roberts’ family filed a $3 million notice of claim -- which precedes a lawsuit -- insisting the teen had nothing to do with that incident. 

Family attorney Jeffrey Rizzo told reporters, “[Clarence] doesn’t have a weapon on him,” Rizzo said. “And he doesn’t pose any threat to anybody or to the police officers.”

Sgt. Michael Brosnan, who is assigned to the investigation had no comment on the situation, the Daily News reported.

BET has been covering every angle of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.

Photo Credit: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

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