Tremaine McMillan, 14, was tackled to the ground and choked by Miami-Dade Police officers because they claim the teen gave them a “dehumanizing stare,” reports Alternet.com.
McMillan was on the beach roughhousing with a friend while his puppy played nearby and his mother watched just a short distance away.
So-called peace-keeping officers told McMillan that rough play was “unacceptable behavior,” so the teen grabbed his puppy and walked away. That wasn’t enough for the officers — who apparently got their feelings hurt because a teenager gave them a mean look after being harassed — so they followed on ATVs, jumped out and pinned McMillan to the ground, choking him.
His mother, Maurissa Holmes, who captured the entire incident on video, told WSVN-TV, “I ran over there and said, ‘That’s my son, that’s my son. Can you get off of him? He can’t breathe.’ ”
See the disturbing footage below:
“I don’t like it. I feel sad. He got in front of me on the ATC (sic) and he slammed my hand,” McMillan said of the incident. “Then he started choking me. Then my 6-week old Pit Bull mix named Polo got hurt and bruised his front paw when the police grabbed me and slammed me down. It makes me feel sad.”
McMillan said that he urinated on himself because he couldn’t breathe.
But police officers don’t feel sad; in fact, they feel justified. McMillan “attempted to pull his arm away, stating, ‘Man, don’t touch me like I did something,'” according to police reports. And that “combative” statement added to the perceived threat:
“Of course we have to neutralize the threat in front of us,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta. “And when you have somebody that is being resistant, somebody that is pulling away from you, somebody that’s clenching their fist, somebody that’s flaring their arms, that’s the immediate threat.”
McMillian counters to WSVN, “How would my fist be balled up and I had the baby bottle inside my right hand, and my puppy inside my left hand when I was feeding him?”
Even though McMillian was unarmed and holding a puppy, police charged him with “resisting arrest, a felony, and disorderly conduct,” reports Alternet.com. His trial date is set for July 16, 2013.
A request submitted by the teen’s legal council to drop the charged was denied.
As previously reported by NewsOne, in a study titled, “Race and Perceptions of Police Misconduct,” Ronald Weitzer joined with Steven A. Tuch, both of George Washington University, to examine the causation of negative perceptions of police in the Black community.
The study’s findings revealed that Black Americans face more police corruption, violence, and profiling than our White counterparts, leaving their perception of law enforcement — and Black Americans — colored by personal perspective and not collective reality:
Whites tend to hold a favorable opinion of the police, favor aggressive law enforcement, and are skeptical of criticisms of the police. There is a racial dimension to this orientation. Many Whites view Blacks as inclined to criminal or violent behavior (Swigert and Farrell 1976; Weitzer 2000; cf. Hurwitz and Peffley 1997).
In response to a question in the 2000 General Social Survey, 48 percent of Whites think that Blacks are “violence-prone.” For many Whites, controlling crime is roughly equivalent to intensifying law enforcement against minority individuals or in minority communities.
Click here to view the study’s findings.
In his book, ” Callus On My Soul,” author, comedian and activist Dick Gregory, teaches that if Black America is ever going to stop these vicious attacks on our children, we have to take a stand against the police:
“The relationship between Black folks and many White cops in this country is so far out of hand, and at some point we Black folks have to start taking some of that blame. We let police brutality run rampant through our community. There are thousands of Black police officers across this country…They don’t mess with White folks because they know that White folks won’t tolerate it, plain and simple. When we Black folks decide that we are not going to tolerate police brutality, then it will stop. There’s something wrong with a people who have more fear for their enemy than they have love for their children. We have to understand and say to America and the police that enough is enough. We can say it through commerce and shut this country down.”
Hopefully the McMillan family will receive justice in the case. Because it is clear that the people who should have been restrained and charged were the ones wearing badges.