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'Egregious' Act by Deputy Made Public Defender Cry

White deputy shown in footage wrestling black teen quadruple amputee to ground, cursing at him
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2019 9:48 AM CST

(Newser) – An arrest of two teens at an Arizona group home in September has now blown up into something much bigger after KOLD News 13 saw what it calls an "explosive video" of the incident that led to their arrest. The news outlet reports that the eight minutes of footage released to them by the Pima County Public Defender's Office shows a white county deputy holding a black 15-year-old quadruple amputee IDed by the Washington Post as "Immanuel" in a headlock before wrestling the shrieking boy to the ground and holding him down while cursing at him. The clip also shows the arrest of "CJ," the teen who filmed the Sept. 26 incident on his phone; both boys were arrested on disorderly conduct charges. The teen with the cameraphone is shown, handcuffed, having his head slammed against the wall by the deputy (a third teen had taken the phone by that point and continued recording).

Joel Feinman, the public defender whose office represents both teens, tells CBS 17 these actions were "absolutely ... egregious." He says the video came to light when CJ met with an attorney from his office and mentioned he'd taken the footage on his phone; Feinman notes he and other staffers cried when they first saw it. Immanuel, who has no legs and is missing most of his arms, was placed in the home after being abandoned by his family; the deputy had come to the home after an employee called the cops to report Immanuel had knocked over a trash can and was yelling and screaming. "Men with badges should not be acting this way," Joel Feinman, Pima County's public defender, tells KOLD. "Men and women who do act this way should not have badges and guns." Charges against both teens have been dropped. (Read more amputees stories.)

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