Tulsa police on Tuesday released videos showing at least two white officers handcuffing and later arresting a black teenager they stopped for walking in the street. Police said an internal investigation has been initiated.
Two officer body camera videos show police detaining two black teens for jaywalking about 5 p.m. Thursday in the 1300 block of North Osage Drive, police said in a news release.
Each video lasts about 21 minutes. They show at least one officer forcing a teen to the ground and then holding him down with his arms and knees while the teen was handcuffed lying on his stomach.
The second teen in the video was also handcuffed, but he was not being “aggressive,” one officer says.
The teen who is standing asks the officers why they hit his cousin while he was handcuffed on the ground and why he was being choked. The officers deny choking the teen, who repeatedly asks why the officers were following him and says he was being targeted because he was black.
The teens also repeatedly asked why they were being detained and handcuffed. At least one officer responds by saying they were “breaking the law” by walking in the middle of the street. An officer can be heard telling the teens they were jaywalking.
Throughout both 21-minute videos, no cars can be seen driving past the area. One car is seen leaving a nearby parking lot.
The teen who was taken to the ground is eventually lifted to his feet. He yells, “Call my momma!” several times and directs profanity at the officers. He threatened to beat an officer if released from the handcuffs.
The teen is eventually taken to a patrol car, where an officer could be heard telling him: “Don’t headbutt me again!”
The second teen tells the teen in the car several times, “Chill out, bro. It’s not worth it.”
About 15 minutes into the videos, an adult appears across the street and asks officers why they are treating the teens the way they are.
The man, who is black, walks partially into the street, and one of the officers threatens to also arrest him if he doesn’t “get out of the street.”
The man backs up to the sidewalk but continues to question officers.
“You don’t have to do all that sh--!” he says. “I’m watching you assault that little boy right there!”
At the start of the videos, two officers approach the teen. Toward the end of the videos, a third officer can be seen.
Large portions of the videos have been blurred, apparently to obscure the teens’ faces, and the sound has been cut at points when names are mentioned.
Police issued the following statement in a news release:
“Over the weekend we received a few messages through our social media page about an arrest that was made involving 2 juveniles this last week. We were able to find the arrest illustrated in the citizen’s video and locate the officer’s videos from their body cameras.
“(Tuesday) in the continued effort to be transparent with our community, we are releasing 2 body camera videos from the arrest of a juvenile and the contact with another in the area of 1300 N Osage Drive on June 4, 2020 at approximately 5:00 p.m.
“This arrest is also under investigation by our Internal Affairs Unit, as such, we are unable to comment on this arrest until the conclusion of the investigation.”