Many are outraged after a viral video showed an off-duty LAPD officer firing a gun near a group of kids after the officer grabbed a 13-year-old boy by his hoodie and restraining him.  The incident took place near the officer’s home in Anaheim, California.

The cellphone video shows a man in plainclothes holding a boy against his will.  The boy repeatedly says, “Let me go” but the man refuses.  The man, who never identifies himself as an officer is surrounded by other children as he pulls the boy down the street over lawns. Eventually, the other kids come to the aid of the boy, pushing the officer over a row of hedges.  The man, who still has hold of the boy is then seen drawing a pistol from his waistband before a gunshot rings out.  No one was injured in the incident.

According to one of the youths, the group was walking home from school when the incident took place.  The 13 year old says it quickly escalated and turned physical when the man tackled him and choked him.  While the video does not show what happened prior, it starts with the boy being restrained and asking to be let go.  He then says “why are you grabbing me, I just said not to talk to a girl like that! You called her a dumb c**t.”  The man replies that she shouldn’t have been on his lawn.

Anaheim police say the officer had an ongoing dispute against children who were walking on his lawn.   Both the 13-year-old boy and his 15-year-old brother were arrested. The off-duty officer, who has not been identified, was questioned by Anaheim police and released.

Overnight, around 300 protesters gathered near the officer’s home, before marching through Anaheim’s streets and blocking intersections. Some protesters shouted “hands up, don’t shoot” and “no justice, no peace.”  Some demonstrators threw rocks and kicked police cars, while others broke windows or residences and cars, according to the LA Times.

There was also a small group of protestors who lingered around the officer’s home chanting “Don’t shoot the children.”  The officer’s home and vehicle were vandalized before riot police arrived to protect the officer’s home.  Twenty-four people were arrested on misdemeanor charges of failure to disperse.

The LAPD says the officer is on paid administrative leave while the department evaluates if his “use of deadly force complied with LAPD’s policies and procedures.”  Anaheim police say they are reviewing other videos of the altercation to get a clearer picture of what happened.

Anaheim mayor Tom Tait and Police Chief Raul Quezada both said they were thankful no one was wounded when the officer fired a handgun into the ground.  They also both said they are disturbed by video that shows an off-duty Los Angeles police officer firing his gun during a confrontation with a teenager.

Police Chief Quezada told reporters “As a father and as a police chief, I too am disturbed by what I saw on the videos that were posted on the Internet,” He said he hopes a criminal investigation into the matter, which involved several teens and an off-duty Los Angeles police officer who lives in Anaheim, will be completed within two weeks.  No one has been formally charged in the incident.

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