14-year-old put in chokehold by police, charged with felony after giving police ‘dehumanizing stares’
By End the Lie
A 14-year-old was reportedly choked by Miami-Dade police and charged with a felony count of resisting arrest with violence and disorderly conduct, all for giving police “dehumanizing stares,” clenching his fists and appearing threatening.
Unfortunately, it’s not all that rare for teens to be brutalized or even killed by police in the United States. There also seems to be something about police in Florida being especially violent for no apparent reason as they were when they beat a 66-year-old and when they murdered Nick Christie.
The incident occurred on Haulover Beach in Miami, Florida on Memorial Day morning after police said they saw Tremaine McMillian slamming another teenager on the sand.
“They told him that behavior was unacceptable,” Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said to CBS Miami. “He walked away and officers followed him. They asked where his parents were. He said he was not going to take them to them.
“When he started to leave the beach area, officers had to get off their ATVs to detain him,” Zabaleta continued. “He had closed arms, clenched fists and pulled his arm away.”
“Once he was approaching the road, the officers restrained him. Again his body language was that he was stiffening up and pulling away,” Zabaleta said. “Now you’re resisting officers at that point and when the hands are swinging and you are resisting officers, at that point you have to be taken into custody.”
“Of course we have to neutralize the threat,” Zabaleta said. “When you have somebody resistant to them and pulling away and somebody clenching their fists and flailing their arms, that’s a threat.”
McMillian and his family strongly disagree.
“I ran over with my son and used my cell phone when I saw my son and he couldn’t breathe,” said Maurissa Holmes, McMillian’s mother. “There was no reason to slam him on the ground like that the way they did. He’s a child, not an adult. For them to jump off their ATV and do this, this is wrong. I want justice. You don’t do that to a child.”
The video report by CBS Miami is embedded below.
“I just saw him walking,” said Kearra McMillian, McMillian’s sister. “My brother did nothing wrong. He didn’t say anything to the officer. He just kept walking. I guess they just got mad because he wouldn’t stop.”
McMillian was also reportedly holding a 6-week old puppy who was pried out of his arms before being taken to the ground by police.
“He got in front of me on the ATV and he slammed my hand. Then he started choking me,” McMillian said to CBS Miami. “Then my 6-week old Pit Bull mix named Polo got hurt and bruised his front paw when the police grabbed me and slammed me down.”
“At that point we are not concerned with a puppy,” Zabaleta said, adding that the police report did not indicate that a puppy was involved in the encounter. “We are concerned with the threat to the officer.”
“That police report was not accurate,” McMillian’s mother said.
“How could I be clenching my fists when I was taking care of my puppy and giving him some milk with a bottle?” McMillian said.
Miami-Dade police said that McMillian had been arrested once before for robbery, but CBS Miami does not report if he was convicted.
McMillian’s Assistant Public Defender entered a plea of not guilty at the Juvenile Justice Center and asked for the state to reconsider the charges against McMillian.
Judge Maria DeJesus Santoveria refused to reconsider the charges and set McMillian’s trial for 9 am on July 16.
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