BROCKTON, MASS. (WHDH) – A Brockton police officer has been placed on leave after a cellphone video showed him kneeling on a high school student during an arrest on Wednesday.
A Brockton High School student had been sitting on a bike while talking to another student when he got off the bike and hit the other student in the face around noon, according to Brockton police.
An officer broke up the fight and the student allegedly resisted arrest.
Police say the officer had his knee on the 16-year-old student for a few seconds while placing him into handcuffs.
“He couldn’t breath, like George Floyd. I can’t believe that,” a student who witnessed the incident said.
A cellphone video of the arrest showed the student facedown on the ground while the officer knelt on him.
“Why you on his neck?” one person can be heard asking in the video.
Superintendent Mike Thomas sent a message to families saying that, “The video was painful to watch- particularly given its historical context.”
He added that he has been in touch with Mayor Robert Sullivan, School Committee Vice Chair Mark D’Agostino, and Brockton Police Chief Manny Gomes, who launched an investigation into the incident.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, while the student is facing a charge of assault and battery for their role in the alleged fight.
Thomas says resources will be available Thursday for students wishing to speak about the video.
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