Two high school students who were headed to a sports bar for a fun evening out were beaten and arrested at gunpoint by police.
Parts of the arrest of Josh Lawson, 23, and Christopher Franklin, 22,
on Nov. 16, 2010 is caught on tape by the officer’s dashboard camera.
However, other key moments from the video are missing. The dash camera
did not record the moments where the teens were brutally beaten by the
police officers, beatings which left their faces bruised and swollen.
Both teens maintain that they were kicked in the face and chest.
The dashboard recording shows the two students being helped from the
ground and loaded into a police car after they were arrested for
allegedly robbing a man a short while earlier. The two suspects in the
robbery were black men, and of course, the two teens were black.
However, the clothes the teens were wearing did not match the
description of the robbers given to police.
“The only thing they had to fit the description was black males,”
said the pair’s attorney, Lizanne Padula. “This was like a meteor
dropping down on them.”
One of the officer’s microphone also records him telling the teens,
“Yeah, I’m going to make stuff up.”
“It felt like no one was going to believe us,” Franklin told
ABCNews.com. “We were just going to be another statistic.”
The police officers said they were aggressive because they yelled,
“‘Stop, Police, show me your hands and get on the ground” and the teens
ran. However, the teens say that the officers did not identify
themselves as police and they thought they were being robbed.
The two men want changes in the Seattle Police Department. They have
also filed a complaint for damages.