The Bellevue Police Department launched an internal investigation this week regarding a May 13 incident where officers shocked a juvenile with a Taser.
A video of the incident, posted on Mediatakeout’s Facebook page, has been viewed more than 6 million times.
The one-minute 47-second video captures several Bellevue officers surrounding the juvenile sitting on a bench drinking a beverage. Officers alert the suspect that he is under arrest four separate times before moving in to handcuff him. One officer alerts the suspect that if he resists officers will use a Taser.
At that point, the juvenile, now on his feet, is shown resisting officers. An officer uses his Taser and the boy falls to the ground.
An individual in the video attemps to obstruct the video throughout the incident. Bellevue Police Officer Seth Tyler said this person is not affiliated with the department, but rather is a Kemper security officer.
“We’ve expressed our concerns with the actions of this individual,” Tyler said.
Tyler also said that this recording does not capture the full story, which he said was about a 20-minute interaction that started when officers were called to respond to two people trespassing at Bellevue Square.
When the juvenile and the second suspect, who would later film the interaction, saw police arrive, they took off running to a nearby QFC. Officers followed and recognized the juvenile as a suspect to motor vehicle theft. This is where the video picks up.
“[Officers] did tell him specifically if you fight with us you will be tased,” Tyler said.
Tyler said the juvenile was resisting “pretty violently” for a few seconds, throwing elbows and trying to pull away.
“Anytime there’s a use of force, such as a Taser, there is an automatic review,” Tyler said.
In addition to the “use of force” investigation, the department launched a separate internal investigation into the incident after the juvenile’s mother filed a complaint with the city on May 15.
The second suspect, the one filming the incident, was contacted, interviewed and released at the scene. The juvenile was arrested for trespassing, a misdemeanor, and for suspicion of motor vehicle theft, a felony charge.