Video of Florida teen's arrest appears to show police punching and tasing the teen (2024)

LAKELAND, Fla. — A 16-year-old's arrest in Lakeland has gone viral after a video appears to show police punching with closed fists and using a taser on the teen.

The video does not show what led up to the incident.

According to a Lakeland Police affidavit, on Monday, an officer was sent to the Caroline Apartments on the 1900 block of Griffin Road in Lakeland. The initial call to the police was because people were in an apartment complex's pool who allegedly didn't live there.

The affidavit said the officer approached several people in the pool area, and the 16-year-old refused to give them a valid apartment number.

The document said the apartment complex manager told police to trespass those who didn't live there and that police said they told the 16-year-old he was being trespassed and to leave the property.

"The police arrived and told the children to move, they were going to trespass them. The children left, but one of the children realized that they left their clothes. They went to get their clothes," said Clayton Cowart, the Founder of the Poor Minority Justice Association.

The affidavit said the teen "continued to ignore my verbal commands and stuck his hand in my face, while stating, 'I don't have to talk to you.'"

According to the affidavit, officers said they then began to take the teen into custody. The officers at the scene gave this account of the arrest.

"I attempted to grab (the teen) by his right arm, but he immediately tensed his body and attempted to pull away from my grasp. I informed (the teen) he was under arrest and to stop resisting. I was able to maintain control of (the teen) as I guided him toward a wall. (The teen) began to flail his arms towards Officer Diaz and I, almost striking us in our facial area several times. (The teen) struck me in my facial area one time with his closed fist."

The affidavit said officers were able to arrest the teen after "several closed fist strikes and one taser deployment."

"The real big issue is why does this grown police deal with a child like this," said Cowart.

Cowart has provided ABC Action News with a video of the arrest. When the video begins, the officers appear to be trying to take the teen into custody.

Editor's Note: The following video shows part of the graphic arrest of the teen. Viewer discretion is advised.

Video of Florida teen's arrest

In the video, the officers appear to be seen punching the teen with closed fists, grabbing him by his hair, and eventually using a Taser on him.

Lakeland Police charged the teen with "trespass, fail to leave property, battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting officer with violence."

The document said the teen was taken to the hospital for medical clearance before being taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.

"To be honest, my reaction is Lakeland is at it again," said Cowart.

ABC Action News spoke with Life Malcolm, the attorney for that teen and his family. He said the 16-year-old is still seeking medical attention.

"This awful experience that he endured has had a serious effect on him mentally as well as emotionally," said Malcolm.

Malcolm said they want the charges dropped, the officers to be suspended without pay during an investigation, and transparency and truthfulness from Lakeland PD.

"Don't hide the ball. If there's body-worn camera from the officers there, we need to see the footage," said Malcolm.

Cowart said there will be a demonstration this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. outside Lakeland PD demanding action after this incident.

ABC Action News repeatedly contacted the Lakeland Police Department regarding this incident for a statement, an interview, and body camera footage.

Late Wednesday afternoon, we received this statement:

"Chief of Police, Sam Taylor has requested an administrative review by our Office of Professional Standards. In accordance with our agency’s policies and procedures, and in accordance with Florida State Statute 112. 533, we will not be able to release any other material related to this case until the administrative review is closed."

Latest Polk County News from ABC Action News

  • Missing persons case in Lakeland turns into homicide investigation
  • Police searching for suspect who strangled victim until she passed out
  • Talbot House will open homeless shelter for women and children in Winter Haven
  • Florida parents host pre-k graduation since school district stopped

Copyright 2024 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Report a typo

Sign up for the Morning Headlines Newsletter and receive up to date information.

now signed up to receive the Morning Headlines Newsletter.

Click here to manage all Newsletters

Video of Florida teen's arrest appears to show police punching and tasing the teen (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated:

Views: 6370

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.