Off-Duty Officer Pins Black Teen To Ground For Being On His Lawn

Another teen filmed the video and begged the officer to let them go.

By Carla Herreria

Police offi­cers in the Village of Lansing, Illinois, are inves­ti­gat­ing an inci­dent involv­ing an off-duty police offi­cer who was filmed hold­ing a black teenag­er to the ground and threat­en­ing his life for being on the officer’s lawn.

Another minor filmed a por­tion of the Saturday con­fronta­tion, which was lat­er shared on Facebook, where it went viral. The rough­ly 90-sec­ond video, seen below, con­tains explic­it lan­guage through­out.

In it, an adult man strad­dles the teen and puts his hand around his neck. The man can be heard scold­ing the teen for com­ing onto his prop­er­ty and says, “I’m going to fuck­ing kill you.”

Andrew M. Stroth, a civ­il rights attor­ney who is rep­re­sent­ing the teen’s fam­i­ly, iden­ti­fied him as 15-year-old Jordan Brunson and iden­ti­fied the teen who record­ed the inci­dent only as Aaron, also 15.

Later in the video, the off-duty offi­cer tells Brunson that he is “try­ing to fig­ure out what’s going on and you guys are act­ing stu­pid.”

When Brunson tells the man that “he is not involved in this,” the man says, “I don’t give a fuck who is. Do you under­stand that?”

Why are you doing this to me then?” Brunson asks, to which the man replies, “Because your friend is being a fuck­ing idiot,” appar­ent­ly refer­ring to Aaron.

A woman named Ann Falls, who claims to be relat­ed to Brunson, shared the video Monday on Facebook. It has been viewed near­ly 4 mil­lion times.

The Lansing Police Department con­firmed to the Northwest Indiana Times that offi­cials had been inves­ti­gat­ing the inci­dent before video of the con­fronta­tion was uploaded to the inter­net. The con­fronta­tion was relat­ed to a larg­er fight that had bro­ken out among about 30 juve­niles ear­li­er in the day, police said in a state­ment Tuesday.

So this is what hap­pens when you walk on some­one’s grass. My lit­tle cousin is damn near killed. This guy is a LANSING POLICE OFFICER and our fam­i­ly can’t get any­where fil­ing a report on him. I reed FB to share and share this needs to go VIRAL!! I’m sick of walk­ing while black being a prob­lem! As you can hear his friend video­ing is not black but he’s not being harassed!!

Posted by Ann Falls on Monday, June 26, 2017

Brunson told Chicago news sta­tion WGN-TV that he was try­ing to help his friend who had been injured in a fight and went to sit on the officer’s porch.

I was exam­in­ing him,” Brunson told the news sta­tion. “I was going to go tell his grand­moth­er.” Brunson also said that the man nev­er iden­ti­fied him­self as a police offi­cer.

When asked about the officer’s con­fronta­tion of the teens, a spokesper­son for the Lansing police direct­ed HuffPost to state­ments released Monday, which said the off-duty offi­cer “became involved when he was approached by two oth­er sub­jects involved in the fight.”

One of the juve­niles had vis­i­ble minor injuries, and the oth­er was tem­porar­i­ly detained for fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion until the arrival of on-duty offi­cers,” the state­ment said.

The off-duty offi­cer had found a back­pack con­tain­ing a base­ball hat and a BB gun in his back­yard, then he saw the injured 15-year-old on his prop­er­ty, accord­ing to the police’s state­ment Tuesday. The teen told the offi­cer that he had been in a fight with sev­er­al black male juve­niles.

A black 15-year-old (Brunson, who is not iden­ti­fied by name in the police state­ment) then report­ed­ly approached the injured teen and the off-duty offi­cer on the officer’s prop­er­ty. According to police, the offi­cer told both teens to stay put until police arrived, but they refused, “result­ing in the off-duty offi­cer phys­i­cal­ly detain­ing one of the juve­niles.”

Stroth, whose law firm inves­ti­gates police bru­tal­i­ty, called the officer’s actions unwar­rant­ed and exces­sive, and said the ear­li­er fight between the teens was unre­lat­ed to the officer’s treat­ment of Brunson.

The video speaks for itself. It’s yet anoth­er exam­ple of a white offi­cer using exces­sive and unrea­son­able force against a 15-year-old black boy,” Stroth told HuffPost. “Based on eye­wit­ness reports and the video, Jordan did noth­ing to pro­voke the unwar­rant­ed and exces­sive force used by the police offi­cer.”

Stroth told HuffPost that police had not filed any charges against either boy. Lansing police have not released the name of the offi­cer, who is still on active duty, Police Chief Dennis Murrin told the Northwest Indiana Times.

Brunson’s fam­i­ly has not pressed any charges against the offi­cer, though Stroth’s law firm is con­duct­ing its own inves­ti­ga­tion into the inci­dent.