New Castle, DE — As the Free Thought Project has reported numerous times, the only thing dangerous about marijuana is what happens when the police catch you with it. Marijuana will not kill you, but the police officers who find you with it just might. The violent arrest of a 16-year-old Delaware boy proves this notion. Now, the taxpayers of New Castle will be held liable because the officer who did the punching, was not.
One year after this boy was savagely beaten by New Castle County police — who were never held accountable — attorney for the family, Chris Johnson, has announced they intend to sue if the department refuses to settle.
As TFTP reported at the time, the boy, identified by his family as Roger Darnell Brown was outside talking with his friend last February because he’d just gotten a brand new dirt bike and wanted to show it off. The boys weren’t breaking into cars or vandalizing the neighborhood or stealing things. They were just being boys hanging out.
However, as they stood in the front yard, two cops claimed to smell marijuana and this peaceful hangout quickly turned violent.
Roger was straddling the bike when police arrived and told him to get off it, Mary Fleming, Roger’s mother told Delaware Online.
According to Fleming, the bike did not have a kickstand so Roger stood up and was walking the bike over to lean it against the house when he was tackled by the officers.
Naturally, being tackled by two men with guns made Roger uncomfortable so he began to try to wriggle away. This movement was perceived as “resisting” by the officers who then begin to repeatedly punch the teen in the face.
As the video shows, the officers are holding the teen down as one of them continues punching Roger in the face. Roger eventually stops squirming and just tries to shield his face from the repeated blows.
During the struggle the officers demand the teen stop filming and at one point the officer in the blue shirt appears to place his hand on his gun in an act of intimidation. As he turns his attention back to beating Roger, backup arrives and demands the teen stop filming. But the teen tells police that he has a right to film, which is entirely correct.
After Roger was placed in handcuffs, police arrested him and charged him with multiple crimes after finding “numerous” bags of marijuana on him.
He was taken into custody and was held for several days before he was released to his mother, battered and bruised. This incident will forever tarnish the rest of his life—for selling a plant.
After his mother saw the video, she filed a formal complaint with the police department which sparked an internal investigation.
“It’s an internal investigation right now,” Cpl. Michel Eckerd, a spokesman for the department said at the time. “We always hold our officers to the highest standards of police conduct, and a complete review of this incident is underway.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware even called for an immediate suspension of the officer involved.
“We await the result of the investigation, but it is difficult to imagine circumstances that justify multiple officers pinning down a 16-year-old boy and punching him repeatedly in the face,” a statement release said.
But the department did not choose to hold this officer accountable.
“Oh, it’s the worst feeling in the world,” Brown’s mother said. “It’s ridiculous, and I’m so upset.”
Indeed, watching your child get beaten up and kidnapped because he was accused of selling a plant is utterly ridiculous.
Below is the video that police tried so hard to stop from being taken. It shows just how brutal and insane this failed war on drugs has become.