Press "Enter" to skip to content

Was justice served after off-duty officer tackled, kicked boy?

When is a so-called “citizen’s arrest” really an assault and battery? Turn that around, when is a so-called “assault and battery’ really a citizen’s arrest?
An exhaustive review of a series of newly released videos raises troubling questions about law enforcement officials’ decision not to charge the off-duty officer who a year ago seized and grappled with a pint-size Anaheim boy.
By the Orange County District Attorney’s own admission, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Kevin Ferguson “aggressively approached” the 13-year-old boy and “grabbed by the sweatshirt” after the boy verbally defended a girl that Ferguson had called “a derogatory and vulgar name.”
But the sweatshirt grab was only the beginning of Ferguson’s battle for justice.
Unaware Ferguson was a cop – with a loaded gun hidden in his pants – the boy struggled to flee. That is when Ferguson went Vin Diesel on the little lad.
Ferguson, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas acknowledges, chased the boy several times, kicked the boy in the groin, tackled him to the ground and held him in a partial rear chokehold.
When pushed and reportedly punched in the face by some older teens, Ferguson pulled out his gun, pointed the barrel directly at several youths and fired.
Ferguson and unnamed witnesses say he aimed at the dirt when he pulled the trigger. No bullet was recovered.
The girl’s alleged offense? Walking on Ferguson’s driveway.
The boy’s offense?
Ferguson claims the boy said, “ If you touch me, I am going to shoot you.”
The boy claims he didn’t say “shoot,” but rather “sue.”
There is no evidence or claim the officer saw a weapon, other than his own.
Time and again, I’ve heard teens say to adults, to one another: “I’m going to sue you.” It’s practically a 21st-century catchphrase when hormones heat up.
Regardless, the question remains, was Ferguson on a mission to follow the rule of law or was he on a mission of street justice, determined to mete punishment on a rebellious child who was churlish, but did little else beyond trying to flee his captor.
In short, should the district attorney have considered assault and battery charges?
California Penal Code 240 describes assault as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury.
California Penal Code 242 says battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.
The district attorney also noted that Ferguson — an stranger to the boy — repeatedly tried pull the child toward the officer’s residence.
California codes 236 and 237 state it’s illegal to intentionally and unlawfully restrain or detain a person and make the person stay or go somewhere against their will.
From 39 minutes of video of a 16-minute event, here is a detailed, chronological account of what happened:
Feb. 21, 2017, 2:38 p.m; a girl has walked across a driveway, words are exchanged. There is no audio on security cameras that capture the initial skirmish.
Middle school children, including a girl and boy, walk along a sidewalk in a residential neighborhood with trimmed green lawns. The boy wears a black sweatshirt and tan shorts. He keeps looking back. A girl pushes him forward.
With a shaved head and wearing black sunglasses, dark jeans, a white T-shirt and an open blue-and-white-checked collared shirt, Ferguson strides along the sidewalk nearing the children.
The kids cut across the street. Ferguson follows. He grabs the boy and wrestles him back across the street and onto the sidewalk. The boy breaks away and re-crosses the street.
Ferguson quickly walks toward the boy, grabs him and again starts to force him across the street. A girl appears to strike the officer on the back with a white loose-leaf notebook.
More than a head shorter than Ferguson, the boy manages to circle behind the officer and prevents the him from turning by hugging Ferguson. The officer gains control and gets the child back on the sidewalk. The boy continues to struggle and Ferguson kicks him in the groin.
The conflict grows more violent as the officer swings around the child. When Ferguson shoves the boy’s head down, the child slips away and runs. Ferguson sprints after the kid.
The officer subdues the boy and sits on the ground, holding the boy in a partial rear chokehold. Ferguson reaches for his sunglasses and puts them on. The boy says, “You’re choking me. …Leave me alone.”
A small group of kids gather and ask, “What are you doing this for?”
“Why am I doing this?” Ferguson asks. “Because he threatened to shoot me.”
The boy continues: “I’m going to sue your ass … You tackled me … You hurt me … I can sue you for this.”
Standing some 12 feet away, a girl says, “All I did was walk through the freaking stupid drive through … And you say, ‘What the f**k, you bitch. Why are you walking through my freaking drive through?’”
Other teens approach. The officer orders, “Stay the f**k back.”
The back and forth continues. Officer: “You said you were going to shoot me.”
Boy: “I didn’t say that.”
Officer: “Yeah you did.”
The officer pulls the boy across the lawn and toward a hedge. Several high school boys approach. One is slighter than the officer, but about his height. The teen gently but firmly tries to pull the pair apart.
A boy in a white shirt, tan cargo shorts and a red backpack darts up, followed by another teen. One pushes the officer’s hip, another, reportedly, hits Ferguson in the face. The officer falls into and over the hedge.
Holding the child, the officer stands. A high school kid in a purple sweatshirt jumps the hedge, but stays a few yards away. He sticks something that looks like a pencil in his back pocket.
The officer swivels toward the teenager and back at the boys on the other side of the hedge. With his left hand and clutching the child, the officer reaches under his T-shirt and pulls a black handgun from his waistband. He holds it chest high, then lowers it waist-high.
All the boys back away. Ferguson leans and, still pulling the boy, fires his weapon.
The kids scatter, yelling. The police arrive. Behind a tree, an officer interviews Ferguson.
This week, the district attorney declares, “Ferguson acted unwisely and immaturely … Ferguson’s flat-out horrible choices terrified a 13-year-old juvenile.”
Rackauckas adds, “Ferguson’s actions endangered the safety of a large group of juveniles.”
Still, Rackauckas concludes there is a “lack of evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ferguson committed a crime.”
Here is the Orange County District Attorney’s mission statement: “create a sense of security in the community through the vigorous enforcement of criminal and civil laws.”
Source: Oc Register

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply