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New video from a witness shows Tulsa Police arresting teens for ‘jaywalking’

Andrew Cuomo

New video recorded by a Tulsa resident and obtained by CNN shows the arrest of two teens for “jaywalking” in a North Tulsa neighborhood on June 4.

The video, which was recorded at a distance by neighborhood resident Donna Corbitt, begins with one of the boys, a 15-year-old, sitting handcuffed outside of the patrol car. A second teen, who is 13 years old, appears to be in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

One of the officers is seen leaning into the car. After a few seconds, the officer can be seen kicking into the car. It is unclear what is happening inside of the car. Moments later, that officer throws the teen, who is handcuffed, out of the car and onto the sidewalk. The officer leans over the teen and points his finger into his face as he lays on the ground. At that point, the video ends.

CNN spoke with Corbitt and with Tawanna Adkins, who is the mother of the 13-year-old boy and the aunt of the 15-year-old, on Sunday at the scene of the arrest. Corbett said that she saw the arrest unfold in her neighborhood and was shocked by the force used on the teen.

“I have a 13-year-old grandson he walks to the store. If I would have come out the house and saw that, that would have been too much for me,” Corbitt said. “I saw that police punch him. He had him in the car with the handcuffs on, punching him out in the car. I don’t know if you heard me in the background, I said, ‘Ahh!’ No. You’ve gone too far.”

Rarely cut grass and no sidewalk

Adkins said the boys were visiting a relative who lived in the neighborhood, and they were walking down a back road in a residential neighborhood where there was no sidewalk.

“It’s nonsense,” Adkins said. “Jaywalking, they weren’t jaywalking.”

Corbitt also confirmed to CNN that she and other residents of the neighborhood regularly walk on the paved road rather than in the grass because there is no sidewalk and the grass is rarely cut.

“This is the place where young people come all the time. I walk all the time, and most of the time I come right there in the street and walk around,” Corbitt said. “Because you see those bushes and weeds over there, I’m not walking through all of that. There’s no real sidewalks here until you get to the parking lot so what is jaywalking really?”

In police dash camera video that was released by the Tulsa Police Department, an officer can be seen searching the pocket of the teen who had been put in the front seat of the police car. A few minutes later, the officer can be seen kicking his legs as the teen struggles.

Damario Solomon-Simmons, an attorney for the two boys, said that the officers began following them in their patrol vehicle as they walked down a main street from the bus stop and into the neighborhood. The teens can be heard on the video telling the officers they believed they were stopped for no reason as they walked to a relative’s house.

In a statement released on Friday, the Tulsa Police Department said the two juveniles were stopped for “improperly walking along the roadway” and they are still investigating the incident.

The department said the officers were members of the Tulsa Police Department Organized Gang Unit.

“These units utilize both consensual encounters as well as probable cause stops to contact citizens in the residential neighborhoods,” the department said in a statement. “Most often these contacts are very brief but provide the officers a chance to build rapport and discuss the reason for the stop and why they are in the area.”

The department has made no allegations or charges against the two teens related to any criminal activity in the area.

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