Florida police department under review after violent arrest of Black teen (2024)

Outrage over violent arrest of Black teen leads to administrative review of Florida police department

  • By Xavier Washington
Florida police department under review after violent arrest of Black teen (1)

The arrest of a Black teenager on Memorial Day has sparked outrage and led to an administrative review of a Florida police department. The incident, which was captured on video, shows a 16-year-old being punched repeatedly by officers and later tasered, raising serious concerns about police conduct and the use of force against young Black people.

What happened on Memorial Day?

On Memorial Day, officers from the Lakeland Police Department were called to the Caroline Apartments over a complaint regarding pool usage by non-residents. The situation escalated when the officers approached a Black teen who allegedly refused to identify himself or provide his apartment number. According to the police, the teen was uncooperative and put his hand in an officer’s face, which was not captured in the video.

Community reaction and family outrage

The leaked footage of the incident has led to widespread criticism and calls for accountability. The teen’s mother, Jatae Lewis, expressed her disgust with the officers’ actions, stating that they should be there to protect and serve, not to harm children. Local activist and pastor Dr. Clayton Cowart also condemned the police’s actions, labeling them as ‘child abuse.’

Police department’s response

In response to the incident and the subsequent public outcry, the Lakeland Police Department’s Chief Sammy Taylor has initiated an administrative review by the department’s Office of Professional Standards. The review aims to scrutinize the officers’ actions during the arrest.

Legal charges against the teen

The teen faces charges of trespassing and failure to leave upon order, which are misdemeanors. Additionally, he has been charged with two felonies: battery on a police officer and resisting an officer with violence.

As the community awaits the results of the administrative review, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing concerns regarding police interactions with the African American community, particularly young Black males. In such cases, the need for transparent investigations and accountability remains a critical issue for advocates and citizens alike.

This incident is a call to action for continued vigilance and advocacy for just and fair treatment of all individuals by law enforcement agencies.

8 Responses

  1. This incident caused me as a mom of a black man and 2 black grandsons great concern, because this happens way too often, and clearly it could be any of our children, killers don’t receive this kind of brutality…


  2. That right there is nothing nothing new if it had no been white this would have never happened we all know that and I don’t know why this juvenile this kid is being charged because it look like to me they was assaulting him they should be charged with assault and
    battery on a minor


  3. The Police are killing our fathers are brothers now they are killing our children when must we as a People’s fight by


  4. Please watch the video, this is all because of a failure to ID. 2 grown police officers throwing street punches on a 16yr old. White or black, this is unacceptable, inexcusable, disgusting, & disgraceful. Both these cops need to be terminated immediately. And the higher ups need to answer to this. Again, disgusting.


  5. So they say if it was a white boy he wouldn’t of been treated like the other child. That’s because the white boy wouldn’t of acted out like the black boy. That’s why the black think they can do what they want and have no consequences. That’s when the child’s parents say their child was abused but what he did to the deputies is ok.


  6. De- Escalation is the key period where why aren’t our cops acting as adults period it is a sixteen year old boy who they have abuseThe 16-year-old should have shown more respect. For the officer, whatever the officer needs to know how to work with our young black community. It is not a matter of black or white because officers are also abusing young white teenagers, not at the rate of our black and brown communities. We have to teach officers how to Deal with disrespectful teenagers. Had this been this kid’s parents here they would have been put in jail for child abuse. Officers have to be taught how to calm a situation. Not escalate, it not turn a situation into a barn room brawl.


  7. He is a child. They are two grown men against one child. They are taught how to deescalate these types of things. And for you to say white kids don’t act that way is right, they have privileges that blacks are not afforded.So be real and tell the truth when was the last time that you have seen black officers beat or shoot someone just because they can.


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Florida police department under review after violent arrest of Black teen (2024)


Can you film police in Florida? ›

Anytime you are in an open public space (for example, most public roads, public parks, and public beaches) where other individuals can witness what is happening, you can record the police as long as you are not interfering with police activity.

Do you have to identify yourself to the police in Florida? ›

In Florida, you are expected to identify yourself to law enforcement officers when you are stopped on suspicion of a crime or a traffic violation, however, you have the right to remain silent. It is best to convey your decision to remain silent to the officer clearly.

Can a cop tell you to stop recording? ›

The police can legitimately order citizens to stop recording if it interferes with an officer's law enforcement duties or is causing a safety issue. For example, someone who's recording might be standing too close while an officer is arresting someone.

Can I sue someone for recording me without my permission in Florida? ›

Unlawful interception of oral communication: This offense occurs when someone intentionally intercepts or records a private conversation without all parties' consent. Unlawful interception of oral communication is a third-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Do I have to roll my window down for police in Florida? ›

When you realize the police are attempting to pull you over, remember to do the following things: Pull off to a safe spot on the side of the road. Roll your window down. Turn off the car.

What is reasonable suspicion in Florida? ›

Beyond traffic violations, law enforcement officers may initiate traffic stops based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard that requires specific and articulable facts that suggest criminal activity may be taking place.

When can I refuse to show my ID in Florida? ›

You are only expected to identify yourself to Florida law enforcement officers (police officers and Sheriff's deputies, not immigration or FBI agents) when you are stopped on suspicion of a crime or a traffic violation. If you don't have identification documents, you may choose to remain silent.

In what states is it illegal to videotape police? ›

In addition, California Penal Code Section 647 prohibits filming a police officer secretly or with a concealed camera. Since California is a “two-party” consent state, it is considered illegal to record someone, a police officer or not, without them expressing consent to the recording.

Do I have to roll down my window for a cop in Florida? ›

When you realize the police are attempting to pull you over, remember to do the following things: Pull off to a safe spot on the side of the road. Roll your window down. Turn off the car.

Do passengers have to show ID in a traffic stop in Florida? ›

Passengers Generally Not Required to Show ID: Unlike the driver, passengers are not typically required to carry or show identification during a routine traffic stop, unless there is a specific reason for the officer to request it.

Can you record a conversation with a cop? ›

Generally, the First Amendment protects the right to record a police officer in public so long as it does not interfere with the officer's duties and is not done secretly.


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