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(NEW YORK POST) — An Arizona deputy wrestled a 15-year-old quadruple amputee to the ground at a group home in Tucson, disturbing footage of the incident shows.
The unidentified Pima County sheriff’s deputy encountered the teen, Immanuel, on Sept. 26 while responding to a report that he had kicked over a garbage can and verbally threatened an employee, KOLD reports.
Another teen inside the home then started recording the incident on his cellphone, an eight-minute interaction during which the deputy tried to forcefully subdue the teen amputee as he repeatedly shouted and demanded to be let go.
“Don’t f–king hold me down!” the teen screamed, video shows.
The deputy then rolled the teen onto his stomach as he demanded to be released. At another point, after the teen stopped resisting, the deputy yelled into Immanuel’s face, asking why he didn’t comply with his commands sooner, video shows.
“I will raise my voice to you whenever the f–k I want, you understand?” the deputy screamed.
“Hey, you asked him a question,” the teen recording the interaction replied. “He answered.”
The deputy then approached the second teen, a 16-year-old boy, and told him to “shut the hell up” before both juveniles were arrested on disorderly conduct charges, according to KOLD, which obtained the footage Thursday.
A public defender representing the quadruple amputee said he wanted to make sure that no one else in group homes was treated the way the teen was on the footage.
“He wanted to talk,” public defender Sam Jurgena told the station. “He wanted to have the video on the news because he wanted to make sure something good comes from this.”
The Pima County Sheriff’s Office was unaware of the footage prior to its release by the Pima County Public Defender and an internal investigation has been launched into the deputy’s conduct, KOLD reports.
The incident would have likely never been exposed if not for the quick-thinking teen — identified as C.J. — who recorded the encounter. Charges against C.J. have also been dropped, Pima County Public Defender Joel Fineman told the Washington Post.
“These are kids who live in a group home because they can’t live with their parents,” Fineman said. “This is exactly the type of person that law enforcement needs to protect and defend. Instead we see them being treated like they’re animals.”
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