Tremaine McMillan, 14, was tackled to the ground and choked by Miami-Dade Police officers because they claim the teen gave them a “dehumanizing stare,” reports Alternet.com.
McMillan was on the beach roughhousing with a friend while his puppy played nearby and his mother watched just a short distance away.
So-called peace-keeping officers told McMillan that rough play was “unacceptable behavior,” so the teen grabbed his puppy and walked away. That wasn’t enough for the officers — who apparently got their feelings hurt because a teenager gave them a mean look after being harassed — so they followed on ATVs, jumped out and pinned McMillan to the ground, choking him.
His mother, Maurissa Holmes, who captured the entire incident on video, told WSVN-TV, “I ran over there and said, ‘That’s my son, that’s my son. Can you get off of him? He can’t breathe.’ “
See the disturbing footage below:
“I don’t like it. I feel sad. He got in front of me on the ATC (sic) and he slammed my hand,” McMillan said of the incident. “Then he started choking me. Then my 6-week old Pit Bull mix named Polo got hurt and bruised his front paw when the police grabbed me and slammed me down. It makes me feel sad.”
McMillan said that he urinated on himself because he couldn’t breathe.
But police officers don’t feel sad; in fact, they feel justified. McMillan “attempted to pull his arm away, stating, ‘Man, don’t touch me like I did something,’” according to police reports. And that “combative” statement added to the perceived threat:
“Of course we have to neutralize the threat in front of us,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta. “And when you have somebody that is being resistant, somebody that is pulling away from you, somebody that’s clenching their fist, somebody that’s flaring their arms, that’s the immediate threat.”
McMillian counters to WSVN, “How would my fist be balled up and I had the baby bottle inside my right hand, and my puppy inside my left hand when I was feeding him?”