ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Protesters are rallying around a 16-year-old boy who was pushed to the ground when arrested at a bus station in Ann Arbor.
Demonstrators marched from the Blake Transit Center to the Ann Arbor Justice Center on Wednesday. Organizers with the Collective Against White Supremacy said police need to change use-of-force policies for juveniles.
Police responded to a report last week of a fight involving 15 to 20 teenagers at the transit center. Video circulating social media shows an officer arresting 16-year-old Ciaeem Slanton by putting him on the ground, kneeling on his back and pointing a stun gun at the teen. Ciaeem said he refused the officer’s order to evacuate.
“He tried to grab me and I’m like, ‘Watch out bro, you don’t need to touch me, I’m walking,'” Ciaeem told WDIV-TV . “Then, all of a sudden he yanks me up, and then I almost fell over but he kind of caught me. Then we go into the transit, and he says, ‘You move one more time, I’m going to take you down.'”
Ciaeem said he wasn’t involved in the fight. His mother, Tria Moore, said her son was released after receiving a trespass citation.
“The officer wrote my son a trespass and released him. My son is 16 years old. How do you legally do that?” Moore said. “I want to see somebody answer for this.”
Police Chief Jim Baird said the arrest is under review. The department has submitted a warrant to the Washtenaw County prosecutor for trespassing and resisting arrest.
Steve Dolunt, a retired assistant Detroit police chief, said the officer’s actions stopped Ciaeem from resisting.
“He doesn’t have his knee in his back,” Dolunt said. “He doesn’t have his knee in his neck. He has his leg wrapped around so the kid can still breathe. The young man is laying (sic) on his side. I give them both credit. The kid realized, ‘Uh oh.’ He handled it great.”
The Collective Against White Supremacy, a grassroots organization, has called for prosecutors to not charge Ciaeem, for a public apology and for compensation for the teen’s injuries. Moore declined to share the nature of Ciaeem’s injuries.
The officer hasn’t been suspended and is still on duty with pay.