(BrightPress.org) – A family from Illinois is upset that their 14-year-old boy was tasered during a police encounter on the morning of November 20th. They’re still dealing with the fallout and damage done to the disabled teen after he fled from police and was tasered.
That morning police were engaged in pursuit of four suspects, young black males who stole a car, crashed it, and were fleeing on foot with firearms in their possession. One officer spotted young Avarius Thompson as he was returning from the grocery store who immediately became afraid and fled upon the officer’s approach.
The police say that they ordered Thompson to stop before deploying the taser. The incident was captured by a body camera. In the footage, Thompson jumps a fence after which the officer fired the taser. Thompson is seen falling to the ground and trying to get up as the officer deploys the Taser again.
One of the police falsely identified Thompson as being one of the suspects due to a superficial resemblance. The family has retained a lawyer, Calvin Townsend II, who said he believes the clothing worn by the teen resembled that worn by the suspect, making it an unfortunate case of mistaken identity. Townsend explained that the boy’s autism and youth led him to be frightened by officers charging him with weapons drawn.
In the body cam footage, after they have Thompson in custody, one of the officers can be heard saying that he did not think the boy was their suspect. Another officer confirmed the suspicion, saying it “might not be him.”
Thompson was taken to the hospital where he was treated for injuries from the taser prongs puncturing his skin as well as a fractured hip from the fall. He had additional bruising around his body. He was released from the hospital to police who released the boy without charges.
Dolton police are reviewing the incident, calling the situation “regrettable.” They said they’ll be hosting a transparent review with internal and external parties making sure all policies and procedures were followed.
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