GLENDALE, Calif. — Four police officers were placed on leave after video shows them kicking and punching a teen accused of shoplifting inside a sporting goods store at a California mall.
“While attempting to detain the suspect, a struggle ensued and force was used by the officers,” officials said in a release.
Video shows three plainclothes officers holding down the suspect while they punch him multiple times, KCAL reported. A uniformed officer then runs over and starts kicking the suspect who is still pinned by the other officers.
A shopper in the store who recorded the video was outraged by the officers’ actions.
“The officer that wasn’t even there to begin with, that ran up on this situation, and as soon as he arrived, he just decided ‘I’m going to kick this kid in the face,’” the witness, who did not want to be identified, told KCAL.
The officers were placed on administrative leave. The department is investigating the incident.
“An investigation into the incident, including all actions taken by the officers during the arrest process, was immediately initiated and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is being conducted. Glendale Police Officers are held to a high standard and we work hard to maintain the trust of our community,” the agency said in a statement.
Police recovered stolen merchandise and the 17-year-old suspect, who has not been identified, was arrested and charged with petty theft and resisting an officer by force.
Melissa Navarette, the victim’s sister, told KCAL her brother is recovering after suffering injuries to his eye and head.
“It was really hard to watch,” she said. “We got traumatized. We have, like, all of the video stuck in our head.”
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