VIDEO: Critics Claim Police Used Excessive Force During Brawl With 100 Teens
Brockton, MA – Police arrested four teens during a massive 100-person brawl near Brockton High School on Thursday (video below).
It was the second time in two days that fights broke out among the unruly students, The Enterprise reported.
The most recent altercation took place on Florence Street after students were released from a half day of classes.
Brockton police responded to the area after a student contacted them to report that a large group of his peers were trying to assault him, The Enterprise reported.
At about the same time, police received a second call of a large fight underway at the same location.
“When officers arrived, they observed at least a hundred teens walking in the middle of the street,” Brockton Police spokesperson Darren Duarte told The Enterprise. “Many were causing a disturbance and refusing to get out of the road.”
The teens also allegedly yelled expletives at the officers when they got to the scene, police said.
Cell phone footage showed one teen as he stood just inches away from an officer’s face.
The officer shoved the suspect away, at which point the teen threw a punch to the side of the officer’s head.
The officer immediately took the teen to the ground, the video showed.
“The officer pushed him away, and the teen took a swing at him,” Duarte told The Enterprise. “A large crowd rushed to where the arrest was made. Police kept the crowd away, but officers ended up detaining three other teens – one who assaulted and began to fight with an officer.”
The brawl tumbled out into the roadway, where a group of officers attempted to subdue a second combative suspect by taking him to the ground, the video showed.
One officer was injured during the altercation, according to WCVB.
Resident Sonya Lopes said she was outraged that the officers used force against juveniles, The Enterprise reported.
“When I saw the video, I was extremely upset and posted it right away,” Lopes told the paper. “It was totally uncalled for. These are kids, they don’t know any better. We are here to teach them, not act like them.”
Some citizens have even called for the officers who responded to the brawl to be suspended from the force, The Enterprise reported.
“The police officer should’ve restrained himself regardless of what the child had said to him,” Lopes declared. “It did not give him any right to smack the kid’s phone out of his hand and then hit the other kid. Clearly he must be dealing with some outside issues for him to react that way.”
Brockton police said they are looking into whether any officers used excessive force during the altercation, WBZ reported.
“Police will go through their internal affairs investigation to review the video tape, and interview the officers they need to interview," Brockton Schools Interim Superintendent Michael Thomas said.
The school is also conducting an investigation into the violent brawl.
"It's very hard to be a teenager nowadays with the world of social media, and people spreading false rumors about each other through social media that leads to a lot of conflict," Thomas added, according to WBZ. "It's sad when that conflict turns into a physical altercation."
"We work hard with our students not to resolve their issues with using violence," he continued. "We try to make sure we resolve issues peacefully. It's unfortunate when our students get involved in fights. It means we obviously have to work harder, do a better job."
Four juveniles were arrested for a slew of various charges, including disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, The Enterprise reported.
One 17-year-old suspect was also charged with interfering with a police officer in performance of duties, assault and battery on a police officer, and threatening to commit a crime.
You can watch cell phone footage of a portion of the officers’ altercations with the teens in the videos below (scroll down for more). WARNING - Graphic Content.