A video of a Cobb County, Ga., police officer restraining a 12-year-old rapper in a mall sparked controversy online and has prompted an investigation by the police department, Fox 5 reported.
The video was shared on Twitter, Instagram and on other social media, where it quickly spread. It shows a Cobb County police officer, who has not been identified, holding onto the arm of 12-year-old Corey Jackson in the Cumberland Mall in Georgia earlier in October.
Jackson is a rapper who goes by the name “Lil C Note.” He appeared on the talk show “Ellen” in 2017, where Ellen DeGeneres interviewed him about his entrepreneurial skills in selling his records.
Police say he was confronted over illegally selling his CDs inside the store on October 6 before the situation escalated, according to the AJC.
In the video, the officer, who is white, is holding Jackson, who is black, by the arm. “Stop,” the officer says. “You’re 12? Stop.”
Off camera, a woman says she is on the phone, telling someone where they are.
“You’re about to go to jail, you’re gonna go to a youth detention center,” the officer says. Jackson says something about his freedom.
“He’s not doing anything, he had his rights, he’s not even doing anything right now sir,” the woman says.
“Okay,” the officer says.
“And I have his father on the phone and you won’t even speak to him.”
Jackson says something about letting go of him, and then the camera suddenly shakes uncontrollably as the woman screams.
“You’re not gonna handle him like that! ... You put your hands on my (expletive) nephew!”
The camera then shows another officer, who is black, restraining Jackson. The original officer can be heard calling in their location.
Jackson posted the video to his Instagram page.
Warning: it includes profane language.
On Twitter and other social media, the video sparked a controversy. Some thought the officer went too far in restraining the boy. Others thought the child needed to be disciplined.
“We must get to tha bottom of this... I’m just a kid out here standing for tha right & Motivating other kids in a positive way. Why try to destroy & bring me down!?!?” Jackson wrote on Instagram.
Police said the incident, which happened on Oct. 6, started when Jackson was caught selling CDs in the mall for the third time, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
“What that meant is if they caught the young man back on the premises of Cumberland Mall selling CDs, then they would request that the police make a criminal trespass case (against) the young man,” Chief Mike Register said., according to the paper. “The officer was simply trying to get information and make a determination if a crime was occurring. During that interaction, the juvenile continued to be verbally resistant.”
Police said the child pushed or swung at the officer before a woman identified by police as his aunt physically attacked as the boy was being restrained, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Many people said the officer manhandled the boy. He did not, he just grabbed his arm and held it when the boy refused to give his name and tried to run away,” Register said, according to Fox 5. “Instead of the adult, the aunt in this situation, diffusing things, she attacked the officer.”
Jackson and the woman police say is his aunt were charged with felony obstruction, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, according to CBS 46.
An investigation has been opened on the case, and Register said ‘“We take any incident like this very seriously,” according to the AJC. The officer has not been named and is still on active duty, according to the paper.