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Teenager punched by police, lawsuit filed

No matter how many times we read and hear about police brutality cases in this country, it still shocks and upsets us. For the source of today's particular story, we look to New Jersey where a high school graduate and his parents are filing a federal civil rights after the then 16-year-old was punched and accosted by police officers for seemingly no reason.

The high school graduate was 16 years old last summer when he and some friends were out on July 5th watching fireworks. They were just walking around when the police were called to the scene. The police then allegedly corralled the kids and forced them in Irvington even though they started in Maplewood. This was done, as alleged by a community activist, because the kids in this story are black and Irvington has a prominent black community.

Video of the encounter was captured, and it shows that the high school graduate in this story was punched no less than 13 times as he was being restrained on the ground. The police report also says the kids were disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, but that came after the initial confrontation, meaning that there was seemingly nothing illegal happening before that. So why did the police officers find these actions necessary?

It will be interesting to see where this case proceeds from here. Police brutality is never acceptable. We need to trust the police to protect our communities -- but when they abuse their power, that becomes a tough thing to do.

Source: WABC-TV, "Maplewood teen files lawsuit over alleged police brutality," Anthony Johnson, Aug. 16, 2017

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