A video has surfaced of a Yakima police using force to break up a fight Sunday evening at the Central Washington State Fair.
The video shows an officer kicking a teenager in the back who was walking away from the fight while crouching in pain from being pepper sprayed, knocking him to the ground where the officer continued to be violent.
Six police officers arrived around 9:30 P.M. to stop over a dozen teenagers fist fighting, according Yakima Police Captain Gary Jones.
The victim’s friend Dulce Fernandez was horrified at the officers’ response to the fighting and believes it could of been handled differently.
According to KIMAtv:
> “It was really scary when it happened not cause I was afraid of getting hit or something but because I was afraid for all the children around,” Fernandez said. “I had two younger siblings that were also there and they started crying when they saw everything.”
Captain Jones advised that they are reviewing the incident and that even though four of the teens were arrested it could take weeks or months before any action can be taken towards the officer.
The department has went to Facebook to release a statement:
> “The Yakima Police Department has been made aware of a video posting that involves a Yakima police officer using force while effecting an arrest last night. Maintaining public trust is one of our highest priorities, and in doing so, investigators will be collecting all available evidence as it pertains to a use of force review. Police officers are often faced with difficult situations that require immediate assessment of circumstances in order to protect the community and themselves. I want to assure our community that use of force reviews are conducted in an objective, meticulous manner that requires layers of oversight. Anyone with information concerning this event is encouraged to contact the department and share what information they may have. The men and women of the Yakima Police Department are dedicated to serve our community with humility and respect. We strive to foster a community relationship that emphasizes accountability as one of its values. Gary Jones Interim Chief of Police “
Everyone that was pepper sprayed were medically taken care of at the scene, according to Seattle Times.
The boy has since filed a claim against the city and is being represented by attorney Bill Pickett.