Off-duty cop in US under probe after video shows him pinning down 14-year-old
An off-duty Chicago police officer is under investigation for pinning a 14-year-old boy to the ground, after falsely accusing the youngster of stealing a bicycle that belonged to the man’s own son.
Nicole Nieves shared on Facebook the video of the sergeant kneeling on the back of her 14-year-old son, Josh, as the teen’s friends yelled at the officer to get off.
The incident reportedly happened on July 1 outside a Starbucks in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge.
Nieves says her son was moving what appeared to be an abandoned bike out of the way. The sergeant accused Josh of trying to steal that bike which belonged to the officer’s son. Nieves said her son had his own bike with him.
Nieves, who is Puerto Rican, said the sergeant racially profiled her son because of his skin tone.
“We’ve talked to our three Puerto Rican boys about this moment for years – but you can’t emotionally prepare for this happening to your own child… then it does,” Nieves said in her post.
“We can’t possibly put into words how we’re feeling – disgust, anger, frustration, outrage, fear, sadness.”
The footage begins with the officer on top of Nieves, who was at the coffee shop with a group of friends when they discovered an abandoned bike resting on the pavement.
Blocking the sidewalk, Nieves reportedly moved the bike, leading the officer to accuse him of stealing it – despite the boy having his own bike at his side.
'Get off of him! Get off him!' Nieves' friends can be heard shouting as they crowd the officer.
The cop, who is dressed in shorts and a blue jacket, had restrained Nieves by digging his knee into the child's back.
Nieves' companions then attempt to help their friend up from out of the officer's grip. A scuffle then ensues, with the cops eventually releasing Nieves, as the boy's friends attempt to defend him.
'Get away from him! You can't do that!' one of the teens can be heard shouting in the footage, as they help their friend to his feet.
The cop, who has yet to be identified, was confirmed to be an off-duty officer for the city's police department by officials who spoke to DailyMail.com.
The force is currently conducting an internal investigation into the officer's behavior, officials said.
The boy’s mother said she plans to file a formal complaint against the department in the near future.
'This adult did not use words – he used force,' Nicole wrote, revealing the officer grabbed the boy by the wrist before accusing him of stealing the bike and slamming him to the ground.
'Regardless of the circumstances, getting physical with a minor as an adult for any reason other than self defense is unacceptable.'