A California police officer was caught on video severely beating a 14-year-old over an alleged tobacco purchase—and in response, the police department is defending the cop. As the Rancho Cordova Police Department explains in a statement, the Monday incident started when the officer was patrolling an area "due to complaints from citizens about hand-to-hand sales of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs to minors" when he saw the teen, Elijah Tufono, allegedly engage in a hand-to-hand exchange with an adult. The officer lost sight of the adult but confronted the boy, who was, according to the police department, "uncooperative" and "physically resistive."
- The PD's defense: The department says "it’s important to put video footage into context." And of the officer's response, it says, "This type of situation is hard on everyone—the young man, who resisted arrest, and the officer, who would much rather have him cooperate." Tobacco was allegedly found on the teen, who was cited and released to his guardians.