UPDATE: Officials respond to allegations RPD officer nearly struck homeless teen with baton
UPDATED: Friday, Feb. 1, 3:40 p.m.
See original story, photos, and video below.
REDDING — Redding PD officials have responded to a video that purported to show a Redding police officer chasing a 10-year-old boy with a baton during an incident earlier today, calling their officer’s actions “entirely lawful and appropriate.” The incident happened at a large homeless encampment in the Parkview area along the Sacramento River.
The as-yet unidentified person who filmed the video and the group “Riverside Homeless” who shared the video to YouTube and social media claimed the officer nearly struck the boy who officials have since clarified was actually a 14-year-old truant who is not registered to any Shasta County school.
LEADING THE SCNS HEADLINES:
Responding to a request for information about the incident and video, which has been viewed nearly 1,500 times, Redding Police Cpt. Bill Schueller told SCNS he had seen and reviewed the video, which clearly did not show the incident from the beginning.
“The officer was attempting to contact a teenage boy who is of school age and not in school,” said Schueller. “He had a lawful reason to detain the boy.”
“What the obviously edited video does not show is the officer exiting his patrol car with his baton in his hand like many officers do,” the Cpt. said, explaining, “It is difficult to drive with a baton on your belt over your legs so it is stored next to the seat.”
According to Schueller, when the officer asked the teen “for his name, what school he should be attending, and the whereabouts of his parents,” the boy “refused to answer and attempted to (ride) away.”
It was at that point, as the teen is trying to ride away from the officer, that the video begins.
“The officer gives chase until the parents shout at the officer and identify themselves,” Schueller continued. Once the officer identified the parents, he turned his attention from the teen and began to question them about “not having their child in school as required by law.”
“He did not swing his baton at the boy, or strike at the boy,” Schueller said of his officer’s actions. “But he was chasing him with his baton in his hand.”
“Again, the video is clearly edited to remove the first part of the contact the officer had with the truant teenage boy,” the Cpt. pointed out.
“What is on the video doesn’t show any use of force and was entirely lawful and appropriate,” Schueller concluded.
As of this update, attempts to contact the person who filmed the video or the group, Riverside Homeless, who posted the video to YouTube, have proved fruitless.
This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.
Original story: Officials investigating after RPD officer nearly strikes homeless boy, 10, with baton
REDDING — Officials are investigating complaints against a City of Redding police officer after video of an altercation between the officer and a 10-year-old homeless boy emerged. The bystander who filmed the video claimed the recording showed the officer about to strike the minor with what appeared to be a baton as the boy was riding his bicycle. (See video below.)
The incident happened at a large Parkview area homeless encampment along the Sacramento River, in Redding. That six-minute video, which was shared to YouTube and other social media platforms by a group called Redding Homeless, had been viewed more than 1,300 times as of this report.
Although it was not immediately known why the officer initially responded to the large homeless encampment where several dozen tents have been erected, witnesses said the incident began when the unidentified officer tried to make contact with a boy on a bicycle.
The video, which begins after the altercation had already started, appeared to show a young boy on a mountain bike attempting to ride away from an officer who was trying to question him about why he was not in school and asking where his parents were.
In the video, the officer can be seen running after the boy with a baton in his right hand. As he is chasing the boy he then reached out with his other hand, and appeared to grab the child by his shirt, pulling him off his bike.
Although the officer is not seen trying to strike the juvenile with his baton in the video, he is seen pointing the impact weapon at the boy, who jumped off his bicycle and began fearfully backing away from the official with his hands raised.
At that moment several nearby people can be heard yelling at the officer, including a woman believed to be the child’s mother who screamed, “Hey! Don’t you touch my son!” At the same time a man, believed to be the boy’s father, can be heard yelling, “Hey! Get off my kid!” A girl, believed to be the minor’s sister, can also be heard yelling, “You were just…you almost beat my brother!”
At that point the officer turned from the minor, put his baton away, and calmly walked over to the boy’s family. In the video, he can be heard explaining, “I asked him where you were and he took off.”
As the officer continued to question the parents the boy can be heard tearfully asking, “What’s his problem? What’d I do?” The crying child then hid in his tent, as his parents and sister continue to angrily question the officer, who is then seen and heard on his radio requesting additional officers to the scene.
As the slightly longer than six minute video continues, the officer can be heard diffusing the potentially volatile incident, explaining to the parents that the boy had tried to ride away from him as he was asking him where his parents were.
As the officer continues talking to the child’s family, the unidentified person who filmed the video can be heard repeatedly yelling for the parents to get the officer’s name and badge number.
The officer can be heard on the video asking why the boy was not in school and if he was registered with a local school district, to which the parents admitted he wasn’t. However, they claimed the child was registered in another unspecified school district outside Shasta County.
The man who filmed the video can be heard saying, “I can not believe this … that police officer took out his baton and was gonna strike a juvenile! I am beyond shocked!”
“He was gonna whack a juvenile child,” the man filming the video continued. “He withdrew his baton, got it in a striking motion, and was going to strike a child.”
However, nothing like that is ever seen in the edited video the unidentified videographer later posted.
Nearly five minutes after the video began the first of several additional officers and a supervisor arrived at the scene. The video ends shortly after the officers walked away from the teen and his parents to discuss what had just happened.
It was not immediately known if any further action was taken against the child or his parents and as of this report, attempts to contact the person who filmed the video, the group that posted the video, and Redding PD for additional details and information about the incident had not been responded to.
Writer’s note: Anyone with first-hand information or details about this incident is encouraged to contact Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
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This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.
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Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.