Three Louisiana police officers have been disciplined after a video surfaced of a violent arrest of a Back teen.
According to CNN, Lafayette police responded to a report of someone with a gun near Acadiana Lanes Bowling alley around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 5. Twins Jabari and Gerard Celestine were awaiting entrance into the bowling alley
The twin brothers were waiting outside the bowling alley before going in due to health and safety measures when officers approached Jabari and read him his rights before handcuffing him.
Ron Haley Jr., the teens’ lawyer, said neither of his clients possessed a gun.
The video of the incident captures the violence that ensues during the arrest but doesn’t record exactly what might have motivated the officers’ aggression.
In the opening seconds of CNN's clip, Gerard, identified by Haley, approaches an officer who shoves him. With onlookers screaming in disgust, more officers helped tackle the teen to the ground.
Police in Lafayette Louisiana are out of control.— Gary Chambers (@GaryChambersJr) September 6, 2020
This same department has yet to release the body cam footage of the murder of #TrayfordPellerin by LPD. Mayor @JoshGuilloryUSA is this good policing? Brutalizing a citizen? pic.twitter.com/AfndUAsT1X
"There is a problem with systemic racism and bias in policing and how police treat young Black men," Haley said.
The lawyer told CNN that Jabari was released without being charged, but Gerard was arrested on counts of interference, resisting arrest and battery.
Interim Police Chief Scott Morgan has launched an investigation into the case. He has placed an officer on administrative leave and two others have been removed from regular duty pending the results of the investigation.
The teen’s assault is the latest to draw national attention to how police discriminate against Black people.
In August, Lafayette police came under fire for shooting and killing 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin, CNN reports. On the night of Aug. 21, police tried to apprehend Pellerin while responding to a report of a man with a knife near a convenience store. Once he left, they pursued and tasered him, but it was “ineffective.” Officers later opened fire on him.
Pellerin was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital. The Lafayette Police Department has not released a statement regarding the 31-year-old’s death but an ongoing investigation is being led by the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigation.
Haley, who also represents the Pellerin family, said transparency is the key in holding police accountable to their oath to protect and serve.
"First you have to be transparent. If you are a law enforcement officer, you have one of the only jobs in the country where it is legal in your job description to take away someone's life, liberty and property. With that power, there must be transparency,” he said.