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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Family plans complaint after video shows officer kicking boy

BOYNTON BEACH — The family of a teenage boy plans to file a formal complaint against Boynton Beach police after a video surfaced showing an officer kicking the teen’s legs out from under him while his hands appeared to be restrained behind his back.

Kevens Jean Baptiste told WTVJ-TV that police were called after he was kicked off a school bus for refusing to follow the driver’s order to close a window. The 13-year-old said he had breathing problems after perfume was sprayed inside the bus.

“I said, ‘I don’t care. I got asthma,’ and I was coughing, and my face was turning red and stuff. So, I just let down my window,” he said.

The officer didn’t say anything, Jean Baptiste said.

“He, like, sweeped me off the ground. He kicked me,” said Jean Baptiste. “He didn’t say nothing. He just kicked me, and they put me in the back of the car.”

The teen’s family said they plan to file a formal complaint Wednesday.

A friend recorded the incident on a cellphone. Afterward, Jean Baptiste said police drove him to Congress Middle School.

The officer has been placed on administrative duty and the department is investigating, police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said.

The Boynton Beach Police Department said the video was apparently shot on Thursday.

Two videos show what appears to be the arrest of two boys. In one of the videos, an officer approaches one of the boys, who is standing, and delivers a sweeping kick with his right leg, causing the boy to fall to the ground. Students who apparently shot the video can be heard commenting in the background.

“They can’t do that!” one of the voices says. “I recorded that. I recorded that,” says another.

Slater said “the entire incident is subject to an internal affairs investigation” and that she could not release any details of why officers were dispatched, whether the boys were charged with a crime and where it all took place.

She said the videos were cause for alarm.

“We are committed to reviewing the situation in its entirety and taking whatever action is deemed most appropriate at the conclusion of our investigation,” she said.

In text accompanying the videos, the person who posted the footage to the Internet described one of the boys who was detained as a sixth-grader. The individual did not immediately respond to a message sent to her YouTube account.

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