City responds after officer points gun at children
EL PASO, Texas - UPDATE:
The El Paso Police Department, along with the Assistant City Manager, Dionne Mack, held a news conference this afternoon.
They tell ABC 7 that this incident happened on Thursday on the 6700 block of Sambrano in Central El Paso. Two officers responded to the scene after a call was made for criminal trespassing, at that time the altercation occurred between the officer and the group.
Shortly after the video was posted, the El Paso Police Department launched an internal investigation looking into the actions taken by the officer who pulled the gun, and whether he violated any police procedures. The officer involved in the video has been placed on desk duty.
"We'll allow the investigation to conclude, the investigation in that process is clearly defined in our policies and procedures and then as a result of that investigation, they will determine looking at all the facts whether the officer was within perameters."
"We want to make sure that there is some resolution and I do think it's important for the community to understand that the Police Department understands that this is very important, and the perception of our community and the way the police interacts is very important, and we can't draw conclusions until the investigation is done.
Police say two people were taken into custody, one minor and one adult, and charged with interfering with a police investigation.
Mack tells us she is disheartened after seeing the reaction and comments from the hundreds of people who have viewed the video saying:
"For me that it was most disheartening is to sort of see the children labeled and just sort of see them sort of discarded. I mean this is one incident you know these are our children this is our community, and I am not giving up on those children, and although we had this incident I am very proud to be a part of this community that I know values our children."
A Facebook video showing a disturbing interaction between an El Paso Police officer and a group of children was posted Friday, and has gone viral.
A Facebook user, Aj-king Stoner, uploaded the five-minute thirty-five-second video that shows an officer pointing a gun at a group of boys shouting expletives at the officer as he was detaining a teenager.
"Back up!" the officer yelled before pulling his weapon. "Back up!"
The boys, some of whom appeared to be younger than 10 years old, stepped back a couple of steps as the officer unholstered his weapon. The officer's finger was not on the trigger.
"Put that st up, put it up!," says a young man recording on a cell phone.
Children, teens and women yelled insults and hovered just feet away from the officer as he held the teen down by putting his hand on his head or his knee against the teen's body. It's unclear why the teen was being detained.
Two officers then dragged the boy who was being detained into the street, and the officer who pointed the gun ordered the kids to move, baton in-hand.
A young man who appeared to have been recording the incident the told the officer “Hey. It’s all good, Güey. Güey, we’re going to put a report on these two fools. It’s all good.”
The officer at the center of the controversy then handcuffed the young man recording, and the phone is passed off.
As the officer was being berated, he asked the person recording to “come here,” adding “I know where you live.”
Two additional officers, including some experienced patrol officers as per the chevrons on their uniforms, then arrived at the scene. The officer who pulled his gun has been in the force less than 5 years, as there are no insignia on his uniform.
The video stops as officers talk on their radios and several children continue to yell long strings of expletives at them.
ABC-7 reached out to the El Paso Police Department for comment.
“This is a serious matter that will be thoroughly investigated,” El Paso Police Department spokesman Sgt. Enrique Carrillo told ABC-7. “All the facts, circumstances and events that led to the incident will be looked into. As such no further comment will be made at this point.”