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Sacramento Police Defend Use Of Spit Mask In Arrest Of Black Child

Sacramento Police Department

Sacramento Police are dealing with another accusation of police brutality. It comes after the release of video showing officers arresting a 12-year-old African American boy. Capital Public Radio's Steve Milne reports.

[Video shows police handcuffing the boy on the ground and putting a spit mask over his head.

This happened about a month ago in north Sacramento.

Police say officers were in the area and saw a security guard chasing the boy. The guard accused the boy of trespassing and asking people to buy things for him at a nearby store.

Video of the incident - taken by a bystander - recently went viral. And that prompted the police department this week to release the officers' body-worn camera footage.

Boy: "What you doing? What ... "

Officer: "That's f***ing it. He spit on me."

Boy: "That's it? Yeah, I spit on your ... "

Bystander: "Hey, hey, hey watch out ... "

Sacramento attorney Mark -T- Harris is representing the boy and his family. He posted a statement on social media saying his client was doing nothing more than trying to enjoy the benefits of a neighborhood carnival.

"We will not tolerate our community, particularly our young people, being treated in the way this young man was treated."

Police say the boy was released to his mother after being cited for battery against a police officer and resisting arrest. In a statement, Police Chief Daniel Hahn said the officers: " ... appropriately used a spit mask to protect themselves and defuse the situation."

This latest incident comes in the wake of use-of-force complaints against the department after last year's officer-involved shooting death of Stephon Clark.

In Sacramento, I’m Steve Milne.

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