El Paso police respond to video of officer pulling gun on group of kids
EL PASO, Texas (KDBC) - A video posted to Facebook on Friday night shows two El Paso Police Department officers handcuffing what appears to be minors who were yelling obscenities at them.
One police officer can also be seen pointing a gun at a group of children and later pulling a baton while telling the kids to move to the side.
El Paso police held a news conference about the incident Saturday afternoon. An investigation is underway into the officers’ actions.
“The officer in question will remain on desk duty until the investigation is complete,” said Dionne Mack, the deputy city manager for public safety.
Elizabeth Flores said she understands her kids were not respectful but she said the video does not show what happened earlier.
“They didn’t see the beginning. They didn’t see my son getting choked. That’s why the kids were agitated,” said Flores.
Two people were taken into custody, a minor and an adult. Jacob Flores was detained by police but later released.
“He chokes me like I had, like, a short breath but right after he had me on the floor and he grabbed my hair I was [barely] breathing,” said Jacob Flores.
The initial incident happened about 5 p.m. Thursday.
Officers were called out to investigate a criminal trespass in progress, according to a police officer at the news conference.
As a result of the incident, two people were arrested at the scene.
Both were arrested for interfering with the duties of a police officer.
EPPD confirmed one is an adult and one is a minor.
No complaints have been filed against the officer in the video regarding this incident.
Anthony Martinez saw most of what happened. He said everything turned for the worse when the police officer drew his gun.
“The fact that he pulled out his gun maybe escalated the kids to be ... meaner and aggravated towards him,” Martinez said.
Teresa Chacon lives across the street from where the incident occurred. She said she sides with the police.
“I personally am on the side of the law because the video shows they were disrespecting the cop,” Chacon said.
Chacon said the kids in the viral video are the same ones she sees coming onto her property.
“Nowadays, they don't respect anyone. They throw rocks, they sneak into one property and these are boys whose mothers should be corrected,” Chacon said.
Although officials said they don't approve of the kids' behavior, they understand the need for proper protocol and have yet to determine if the officer was following it.
“For me, the thing that was most disheartening was seeing the children completely labeled and to see them discarded. This is one incident. This is our children and our community. I am not giving up on those children,” Mack said.
As of now, both the minor and adult are in custody for failure to comply with officers.
There is no confirmation yet on when they will be released.
CBS4 is also waiting to read a copy of the policy for officers drawing their weapons.
EPPD tells CBS4 that the policy is not black and white and in the end, the judgment of proper protocol will be determined by the investigators.