The latest video to hit YouTube is hard to view. It features a 14-year old boy being restrained by two burly police officers. You can hear him groan while his sister tries to tell the police to stop.
The boy is Trevor Casey from Toledo. The incident, which occurred on May 15, left him with a bloody, swollen face and a cut lip. The video clearly shows the officers subduing the 155-pound boy in a chokehold, while they attempted to put his hands behind his back.
Casey had been hanging outside of the Bradwhitlock Homes with three other friends when the officers approached him. When asked to leave, his friends complied, but Casey didn’t. His family believes he didn’t move fast enough and so the officers forcibly removed him.
“It wasn’t like he was doing anything wrong,” says Vincent Casey, Trevor’s older brother. “They looked like they were going to suffocate him. By the time they put on the handcuffs, his body fell motionless to the ground.”
Police tell a different story. According to the police report, Casey had been ordered to leave several times before Officer Byron Daniels, on the force for 16-years and Officer Andre Bills, a 22-year veteran, placed him against the police vehicle where Casey then allegedly tried to break free. The officers applied “joint pressure” and “body strikes” to Casey as well as open handed strikes to his face. The report goes on the say that Casey admitted to smoking marijuana prior to his encounter with them although an official drug test was never administered. He has not had any prior arrests.
Casey’s mother, Karen Casey has filed a grievance with the police department and an internal investigation is underway. After being hospitalized and released the following day, Casey was rushed to the emergency room from juvenile detention on Wednesday complaining for spasms, leg pain and blurred vision in his left eye.
“If you’re a young, Black boy in Toledo, you’re automatically profiled, especially if you dress a certain way. We just want them not to get away with using this type of extreme measures,” says Vincent Casey. “We want justice to be served.”
Casey and the police officers are all African-American.
Family members said the one person helping them through this so far is Pastor Stephen Ward, who is also running as an Independent for the Toledo City Council.
“This isn’t about politics for me,” says Ward. “Someone has to stand up for what’s right. We have the NAACP and local church pastors but we haven’t heard from anyone for support. We really need people behind the family and devoted to helping them to get to this.”
The police department hasn’t issued an official response to the incident or contacted the family, but officials did indicate that both officers have stellar records with several commendations in their files. Neither officer has been assigned to desk duty.
“The video speaks for itself. However, I’d rather not comment until the results of the investigation are complete,” said Toledo Police Department spokesman, Captain Ron Navarro.