An Arizona sheriff’s deputy who was seen in a video released last week tackling and holding down a black 15-year-old quadruple amputee has been put on administrative leave.
Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier said Deputy Manuel Van Santen is under a criminal investigation due to the video, which he said Monday was “shocking” and “personally saddening to watch,” according to The New York Times.
The deputy was called to the home after the teenager — who was abandoned by his family and resides in a group home — threatened a worker and displayed acts of aggression.
The video — which the Pima County Public Defender’s Office released to local media last week — showed holding down and eventually tackling the Tucson, Ariz. teenager as his 16-year-old housemate records the Sept. 26 incident.
In the video, Deputy Van Santen attempts to restrain the teenager — referred to as C.J. — as he screams “Don’t hold me down” several times.
The deputy is seen telling him to “calm down” several times, and when the teenager asks the deputy to quiet his voice, he responds: “I will raise my voice to you whenever the f—k I want.”
Additionally, when the teenager filming — referred to as Immanuel — tells the deputy to allow C.J. to answer his questions, the deputy responds: “Am I talking to you? You shut the hell up. Am I your b–h?”
Emmanuel responds: “Yeah, uh huh. Get the f—k out of my face.”
“Or what?” the deputy responds.
The two boys were eventually arrested and were charged last week with disorderly conduct. In response, Joel Feinmann, C.J.’s lawyer, released the video evidence, and the prosecutors dropped the charges — claiming they hadn’t seen the footage.
“It’s a horrible spectacle,” Mr. Feinmann said. “He was assaulted by a man with a badge and a gun, just screamed and cursed at.”
Deputy Van Santen — who has worked on the force for 11 years — will remain on leave until the Pima County Attorney’s Office determines whether he should be charged for his conduct.
“We share the public’s concern over what we viewed on the video,” Sheriff Napier said. “We do not believe what we observed is in any way representative of the manner our deputies serve the community.”
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