The family of a Florida teen is moving forward with a formal complaint against the Boynton Beach Police Department after a video surfaced showing an officer kicking the teen while he was handcuffed.
“He, like, sweeped me off the ground. He kicked me,” said Kevens Jean Baptiste. “He didn’t say nothing. He just kicked me, and they put me in the back of the car.” After he says he was cuffed and kicked, Jean Baptiste, 13, said Boynton Beach Police drove him to Congress Middle School.
He said police were called in after he was kicked off the school bus for refusing to follow the driver’s order to keep the windows closed. Jean Baptiste said perfume had been sprayed inside and he had a hard time breathing.
“I said, ‘I don’t care. I got asthma,’ and I was coughing, and my face was turning red and stuff. So, I just let down my window.” Jean Baptiste and another student were en route to nearby Congress Middle School when they were pulled off the bus at NW 4th Street and Boynton Beach Boulevard the morning of May 8.
A friend happened to have had his cell phone camera rolling.
“I didn’t know he was gonna kick him,” said Terrence Dixon. “I just thought they was just gonna talk to him.”
Dixon said it looked like the officer kicked Jean Baptiste in his leg, causing him to fall to the ground. Boynton Beach Police officials say they are taking action. One of the officers has been placed on administrative duty pending the investigation.
As of Tuesday, no formal complaint had been lodged, but Jean Baptiste’s family said they will do so Wednesday afternoon.
Do you believe action would have been taken by the department had the incident not been filmed?
Should the officer involved be fired?
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