A 16-year-old has been charged with assault and resisting arrest after he allegedly punched and injured a Lexington officer at Fayette Mall Saturday, police said.
Police are still reviewing the incident, spokeswoman Brenna Angel said. The juvenile’s father accused an officer of unnecessarily hitting the juvenile during the arrest and posted widely shared video on Facebook. That video showed a juvenile on the ground at the mall and an officer’s partially obscured arm repeatedly raising and lowering as handcuffs were applied to the moving teen.
The father, Antonio Taylor, encouraged others Tuesday to join a protest for his son at the Fayette County courthouse about 5:30 p.m. “We demand answers,” he said in a Facebook post. The protest drew about two dozen participants before it ended about 7 p.m.
Lexington police said the video posted to social media does not show all of what happened prior to and during the arrest.
Two officers were working an off-duty assignment Saturday and were asked by mall security to investigate a group of disorderly juveniles, Angel said..
Prior to the action recorded on video and posted on Facebook, the 16-year-old juvenile struck and injured one of the officers in the face, and then continued to punch and wrestle him while on the ground, Angel said.
The video showed one of the arresting officers telling observers, “sit down” and telling one person recording the incident to back up. Names of the officers were not released by police.
The juvenile was charged with third-degree assault, resisting arrest, second-degree disorderly conduct and third-degree criminal mischief, Angel said.
Taylor, who would not comment when reached by a reporter earlier Tuesday, previously asked on Facebook for witnesses to come forward.
“(The Lexington Police Department) can’t get away with punching my 16-year-old son ... several times,” he said on Facebook shortly after the incident.
Taylor said his son is well-mannered and did not deserve what happened.
Protesters blocked Main Street in front of Lexington police headquarters for several minutes Tuesday night.
Sarah Williams said the group wants one of the officers shown in the video “off the police force because he is a threat to our children.”
She said they also want to make sure every police officer is wearing a functional body camera any time officers may be interacting with the public.
“We want some policy changes in place,” she said, adding later, “we will do further direct action to get our demands met.”
Herald-Leader staff writer Karla Ward contributed to this report.