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The roles were reversed in a nationally recognized image of police brutality after video captured a Black Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputy kneeling on a White teen’s neck at the Tulsa State Fair over the weekend.
A Youtube video titled “Tulsa County Sheriff knocks out downed teenager at the fair” shows deputies arresting a White teen as bystanders accuse the officers of using excessive force on Saturday night.
As the deputies attempt to place the White teen in handcuffs, an African American deputy places his knee on the back of the teen’s neck and appears to rest his weight on him.
“What the f*ck is happening? Get off that kid’s neck dude,” a man who appears to be the one filming the encounter yells.
After the Black officer stands up, the White teen appears lifeless on the ground for several moments before deputies stand him up.
Another video shared on Twitter captures the encounter from a different angle, as the Black officer punches the White teen several times in the head. He then appears to drag the teen’s face across the pavement as he moves him around to finish placing handcuffs on him.
Here’s another angle of the Tulsa County Sheriff Department using excessive force on this kid at the fair this weekend. pic.twitter.com/toBAJpZGeN
— DiaryOfABlueDot (@DiaryOfABlueDot) October 3, 2022
Teen’s intoxication, racial slur lead to use of force, officers say
Meanwhile, Capt. Mike Moore, Tulsa State Fair commander for the Sheriff’s Office told The Tulsa World his deputies used the “force necessary”.
??”The deputies were required to use the force necessary” when the teen “continued to resist and continued to fight deputies,” The Tulsa World’s Ashley Jones reported on Monday.
Witnesses said the teen was drinking from a bottle of vodka he had hidden in the backpack of his companion, became belligerent around other civilians, and used racial slurs against a Black Sheriff’s deputy.
In a phone interview with The Black Wall Street Times, Tulsa County Sheriff communications director Casey Roebuck said civilians waved down law enforcement due to the teen’s intoxication and said he used a racial slur against a deputy.
Roebuck said that when officers approached the teen, he was “visibly intoxicated.”
Though it wasn’t captured on video, Roebuck said the teen grabbed the groin of one of the deputies and “twisted”, leading to the use of force seen in the videos.
Tulsa deputy kneels on neck, reminding many of George Floyd
The teen was then taken to TCSO command post where he was treated with paramedics. Due to his level of intoxication, medical workers sent him to the hospital for further evaluation.
According to Roebuck, the teen wasn’t taken into police custody, though the agency has opened an investigation into the teen’s actions, and any charges will be referred to the District Attorney’s Office.
For many, however, the only violence witnessed was the force used by the deputies, reigniting images of the 2020 police lynching of George Floyd in Minneapolis. His viral choking death led to a resurgence in activism against police brutality and a change in federal law.
Meanwhile, an outside agency won’t be investigating the Saturday incident. The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office has a use of force review board that will investigate their officers’ actions, Roebuck told The Black Wall Street Times.
“It will go for evaluation to determine whether policy was followed,” Roebuck said. Since the teen is a minor, body cam footage of the incident doesn’t classify as open record, Roebuck added.
Editor’s note: The Black Wall Street Times does not condone police brutality in any shape or form. Nor do we condone the actions of this teenager.