Police Brutality: Officers Tackle 14-Year-Old Holding Puppy

June 4, 2013  |  

The rash of police brutality against black teenagers only seems to be getting worse. We’re shocked and horrified by the details of a recent incident in Miami. Alternet reports a 14-year-old boy holding a puppy was tackled to the ground and choked by police officers.

Tremaine McMillan said he was feeding his puppy and hanging out with his friends at Haulover Beach, being rowdy as kids on the beach are, when he was approached by police officers on ATVs. The officers told scolded him for his “unacceptable behavior” and asked them where his mother was. The police report then indicates that Tremaine walked away, after which the officers pinned him to the ground. They claimed he was “clenching his fists” and giving the officers “dehumanizing stares” but Tremaine said that wasn’t possible because he was holding his six-week old puppy.

Polo the puppy was slapped from Tremaine’s hands while the police tackled him, hurting his front left paw. The dog, however, isn’t mentioned in the police report. Police detective Alvaro Zabaleta said the use of force was justified because of the boy’s threatening body language.

Tremaine’s mother was at the beach that day and captured footage of the police officers’ behavior using her cell phone. She told the local CBS station that she tried to intervene. “I ran over there and said, ‘That’s my son, that’s my son. Can you get off of him? He can’t breathe.'”

Tremaine, at 14 years old, has been charged with resisting arrest, a felony, and disorderly conduct. His lawyers entered a plea of not guilty and asked the judge to reduce the charges. The judge declined the request.

Our hearts go out to Tremaine and his family and we really can’t believe that grown men would jump on a 14-year-old like this and charge him with a felony. The footage below is hard to watch and we hope the family receives justice.

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