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July 19, 2019

Family demands ‘justice’ after video shows police officer kicking teen in back after he had been pepper sprayed

September 28, 2018
A police officer kicked a teen during a melee at a state fair in Washington state on Sunday night. (Jasmin Hernandez Cervera)

Disturbing video shows a police officer in Washington state kicking a teen in the back after he had been pepper sprayed.

The video recorded by a bystander at the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima on Sunday night shows cops trying to break up a brawl that seemed to involve about 15 people. One teen can be seen covering his eyes before an officer kicks him in the back, knocking him to the ground.

The officer, identified by the Yakima Herald as Ian Cole, has been placed on desk duty.

"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," interim Yakima Police Chief Gary Jones said in a statement on Monday. "Police officers are often faced with difficult situations that require immediate assessment of circumstances in order to protect the community and themselves."

The department is encouraging anyone with information about the incident, which went viral on social media, to come forward.

A witness told ABC News that the teen who was kicked attends Wapato High School in nearby Wapato. Jasmin Hernandez Cervera, who shared the video on Facebook, told the network that about 15 boys were involved in the melee.

“They were young,” she told ABC News. She said there no weapons, just "kids swinging at each other."

It's not known if charges were filed against any of the teens, but Cervera told ABC News that the teen who was kicked was taken away by police.

“I don’t know if (he) was one of the primary aggressors. That’s something the investigation will determine,” Chief Jones said.

The police chief said the video may not tell the complete story of what happened that night.

“Anytime you only see a snippet of a video, you’ve got to look at the totality of what was going on — what was going on around the officer,” he told the Herald. “With a very short amount of video, it doesn’t give us all the information.”

A lawyer for the teen's family told the Herald that the Yakima officer's conduct was "abusive and unacceptable." The attorney intends to file a claim against the city.

"The family wants justice," he told the newspaper. "They need to know that they are heard, and they need to know that this type of conduct is wrong and they need to know that this is going to stop."

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