A police officer caught on video kicking a restrained boy’s legs out from under him will not face criminal charges, prosecutors said.
In dramatic footage that surfaced online last month, officer Jermaine Jones of the Boynton Beach Police is seen approaching the boy, who is standing with his hands restrained, and delivering a sweeping kick that causes the boy to fall to the ground. The state attorney for Palm Beach County investigated the incident, saying in a memo on the case that the boy had been “disruptive and profane” and had chest-bumped another officer, but had not been injured in the incident.
“Officer Jones had the responsibility, along with the other officers present, to maintain control of the scene,” the memo said. “The action taken by Officer Jones controlled the juvenile and was not done merely with malicious intent.”
The prosecutors conceded the footage was “dramatic” and “disturbing” and said that the method Jones chose to place the boy on the ground “may have been poorly executed and may have, at least in part, been executed in that manner because of the disrespect the juvenile was showing.”
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.
The boy, who is 13, has not been identified. Police responded after eggs were allegedly thrown at the driver of the boy’s bus. No students were ultimately charged with any wrongdoing in the case.
A separate internal police investigation is still ongoing.