Saying they want him fired, a group of activists protested outside the home Monday of a white Lansing police officer captured on video pinning a black teen on the ground.
“We can’t keep letting this stuff happen,” said activist Tanisha Lyles, who organized the protest with Lee Cole. “We’re just trying to stop it right now before it gets any further out of hand. We have to stand up.”
Protestors also knocked on the officer’s door near 192nd Street and Oakwood Avenue, saying they also wanted the officer to publicly apologize. No one responded to the activists.
Lyles said that the activists ultimate demand is that the officer terminated. Overall, about 10 protestors gathered outside the home.
Cole said the incident with the teen in addition to seeing the video of the officer pinning him to the ground caused them to take action.
“I think an officer like this has no business in law enforcement,” Will Calloway, an activist said. “We cannot tolerate things like this in our community. I think he overacted and needs to be reprimanded.”
City officials could not be reached for comment about the protest.
The officer, who officials have not named, is being placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation’s finding, officials said.
The incident came after Lansing police received a call regarding a fight involving about 30 individuals near 192nd Street and Oakwood Avenue. A police report said officers arrived to the scene after the fight ended and no arrests were made.
A 12-year-old black boy then told officers he was in the area when a white teen gave him a beverage that might have contained drugs, the report said. Eventually, officials said, the boy’s brother had a “physical confrontation” that resulted in the white teen being repeatedly struck in the face.
The off-duty officer, who lives in the neighborhood, later encountered the white teen, who was bleeding from his face, on the officer’s property. As the officer spoke to the white teen, the report said, a 15-year-old black teen approached the pair. Both juveniles then proceeded to leave the officer’s property, but the officer told them to stay until police arrived. The teens refused, and the officer then physically detained the black teen.
Andrew M. Stroth, the family’s attorney, said the reason for activists’ protest is clear.
“There’s community support because of the egregious nature of what the officer did to the teen, Stroth said. “He clearly used excessive force, and the community finds it unacceptable.”
Lansing Mayor Patricia Eidam announced her request for the investigation to be conducted by the Cook County sheriff’s office last Friday. The sheriff’s office has yet to confirm whether they will take on the case.
The city’s police department was investigating the incident.