A protest in Stockton turned violent when an officer used his baton to hit a 16-year-old girl.
ABC10 News recently received cellphone video from the protest, which took place October 12. Protesters were demanding that the Stockton Police Department release body camera footage related to the death of Colby Friday, who was killed in an officer-involved shooting.
Tamaya Slaughter, the 16-year-old protester, said police were trying to stop protesters from moving off the sidewalk and crossing the street.
“I guess he got mad, I guess people were yelling,” Slaughter said. “I was standing right there, and he hit me.”
In the cellphone video, an officer is seen turning his baton and jamming it into the crowd. Slaughter can be heard screaming off-camera.
Soon after that, Slaughter was arrested for battery of an officer and resisting arrest – charges that are still pending. Stockton Police Department spokesman Joseph Silva told ABC10 News that the officer was spat on by Slaughter prior to using his baton.
Slaughter denies spitting on the officer.
“I do not recall. I was yelling out of anger. If it was, it wasn’t intentional,” Slaughter said.
Dionne Smith Downs, a friend of Slaughter’s mother, filmed the cellphone video. She said they want police body camera video to be released.
“Show us! We’ve been asking for cameras. Every other city is playing videos. Every other thing other cities have done – they show videos. Why is Stockton the only city that never wants to give you nothing?” Smith Downs asked.
Silva said that the Mobile Field Force, the specialized unit seen in the video, trains regularly on crowd management and uses only reasonable and necessary force.
“Since the suspect is still in the court process pending charges of battery on an officer and resisting arrest, we cannot release any evidentiary video footage. Just like in any use of force case, an administrative review was completed and the officer’s actions were found to be within Department policy,” Silva said.
Yolanda Huang, Slaughter’s attorney, is asking for charges to be dropped against her client.
“The Stockton Police have a history of excessive force against unarmed citizens, particularly against people of color. This latest incident where Stockton police attacked black children, who were peacefully exercising their first amendment rights by protesting the latest police shooting of an unarmed civilian, Colby Friday, is egregious and unacceptable,” Huang said.
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