Video appears to show Baton Rouge officer with arm around the neck of Black teen

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Wilson Wong
·2 min read
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The Baton Rouge Police Department is investigating an arrest captured on video Sunday that appears to show an officer wrapping his arm around the neck of a Black teenager.

Sharon Weston Broome, the mayor-president of Baton Rouge, said in a statement that the incident involving the 13-year-old is a “concerning encounter” that warrants a “prompt, transparent review.”

She and Baton Rouge police Chief Murphy Paul have reviewed the footage, but a decision has not been made on disciplinary action for the officer seen in the footage, Broome said during a news conference Monday.

According to Paul, officers responded to a disturbance call Sunday and were able to de-escalate the situation. No arrests were made at the time.

About an hour later, officers were called to the same location where they took two juveniles into custody, Paul said. One was charged with battery of a police officer, while another was released to a parent, according to police.

In video shared on Twitter on Sunday, an officer appears to pin the 13-year-old to the ground with his arm around his neck as a crowd of onlookers urge him to get off the boy. Someone repeatedly yells, "You're choking him!"

Footage shows the officer loosen his grip before placing the child's hands behind his back.

NBC News does not know what happened before or after what's shown in the video and authorities have not released the officer's name.

The Baton Rouge police union and Ron Haley, an attorney for the child's family, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Haley told The Advocate, the local newspaper, that the teen was released from juvenile detention Sunday night.

He called for authorities to release body camera footage, which Broome said would be made available to the family Monday. The mayor’s office and the police department were also seeking court permission to publicly release the body camera footage because the incident involves a minor, Paul said.

"I appreciate the swift response from Mayor Broome and the promises made by Chief Paul,” Haley said in a statement, according to The Advocate. “However, too many times in our community we see obvious police misconduct go unchecked and unpunished."

"No unarmed child should be choked and manhandled by a police officer," Haley said.