Hammond, Indiana police choked and attacked a 15-year-old boy for filming a fight between 2 girls.
Hammond police say their actions were appropriate because they allege the boy made contact with an officer as he recorded the altercation, reported ABC 7 Chicago.
“The second they threw Dominic on the ground my oldest son Carl called me: ‘Mom, the police are beating up Dominic,'” Elizabeth Montejano said.
Dominic Garibay and his older brother walked out of Festival of the lakes Wednesday night to meet their mom when they saw a fight between two girls. Police surrounded the girls, but Dominic got closer to record what was happening.
Hammond Police Lieutenant Steven Kellogg claims Garibay slapped an officer’s arm out of the way as police were trying to back up the crowd, but Dominic and his family say that is not true.
“He didn’t try to swipe away their arm. When the officer grabbed him right here Dominic grabbed him. ‘What are you doing,'” Elizabeth said.
Garibay says he was trying to record the fight when an officer grabbed him from behind and body slammed him, then put him in a choke hold while smashing a knee into his back.
Dominic says the officer did not say anything before attacking.
“I think it just went to physical right away. He didn’t say anything to me,” Dominic Garibay said.
Kellogg says the boy was choked and beaten because he resisted arrest. “He gets taken down, originally is he gets taken down because he is resisting arrest, and taken to the ground,” Kellogg said.
Dominic feared for his life as the officer choked him, “Once he started choking me I was trying to break free because I couldn’t breathe, I was just trying to get air,” Dominic said, “I thought… I don’t know, I thought I was going to… die. I couldn’t’ breathe at all.”
Elizabeth walked up to find her 15-year-old son pinned against the ground as police. At that point his brother started recording on his cell phone.
In the video, Officer Picari threatens to assault Carl also, “Take one more step towards, you’ll be next,” Picari says. The officer then moves around to block the view of his video as he plays with handcuffs, trying to intimidate Carl.
Watch video of the incident below:
Police say they have recordings of what happened from body cameras, but they have not released the footage.