A white Wisconsin police officer repeatedly punched a 17-year-old Black teenager in the face, while a mall security officer restrained the teenager, according to cellphone video filmed by a bystander.
The incident took place Friday afternoon in the Mayfair Mall parking lot in Wauwatosa, a Milwaukee suburb. After the teen fell to the ground, the mall security officer and the police officer tried to hold the teenagers’ arms behind his back. The teenager asks for someone to call his mom, and the cop punches him in the back and the face again.
“Why’d he punch him like that?” asks an onlooker to the incident. “Ain’t he a minor?”
According to local media, Wauwatosa police say they came after mall security reported five disorderly teenagers causing a disturbance. A witness who spoke with local NBC affiliate TMJ4 said that the teenagers were asked to leave because they were minors.
Police say the cop tried to speak with the teenagers after spotting several of them in the parking lot, but he then began to physically fight with the cop.
Tyrone Jackson, who filmed the incident, said he knew two of the teenagers and saw they were being followed by the mall security officer. He began filming once he saw a cop arrive to the scene.
“I knew it was wrong, that punch was wrong,” Jackson told WAFF 48. “If it was just a tussling, trying to get him down, okay that would be something different. But the punch to the face, twice, to a minor, it was something serious to me.”
“I can assure you that we take all situations seriously when they involve a use of force by our officers,” Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said in a statement. “We thoroughly review all incidents in which force is used by an officer and will do so in this incident, as well.”
The teenager was arrested for disorderly conduct, battery and resisting an officer.
Last week, another video showed a white police officer in Warsaw, North Carolina violently choking and slamming a 22-year-old Black man to the ground outside of a Waffle House. The man had taken his sister to her prom earlier in the evening and was still wearing a tuxedo.
Also this week, there were reports that white people called the police to deal with three Black women checking out of an Airbnb in California, two Black men having a barbecue at a park in California, and a Black Yale graduate student who was napping in her dorm’s common room.