Two Tampa cops were caught on video pulling up to a group of teenagers on skateboards, then hopping out of their car to nab the smallest boy in the group.
They then body slammed him against the street before shoving him up against their car to frisk him.
Then they held him for 12 hours, even though there were no signs forbidding skateboarding.
The teen is 15 years old, stands about 5’4″ and weighs maybe 120 pounds, said Patrick van Kampen, 18, who was part of about a dozen skateboarders skating on a public street that was closed off to traffic in downtown Tampa on Saturday. He also said there were no signs forbidding skateboarding.
“I don’t know his name, but I know he’s a good kid,” he said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Monday.
Van Kampen said he was standing near the other teen who was recording when the cop came after them too, grabbing onto his shoulder, but they managed to skate away.
“I was trying to pull out my phone and I didn’t even have a chance,” he said. “I saw what he did to that other kid.”
Van Kampen said his uncle is a police officer in Washington D.C. and has already seen the video.
“He said, ‘that was very, very, very wrong, that is not how you handle the situation,'” Van Kampen said.
He said the cops were yelling “stop resisting” when the teen was not resisting.
“I was shocked,” he said. “We’ve never had problems before with Tampa police. We’ve skated in groups of 60 people and had no problems.”
“He also picked on the smallest kid in the group,” he said.
Van Kampen said after they had skated away and regrouped in a nearby parking lot, he snuck back to see what was going on and spotted six patrol cars in the area – all for the single teen they managed to grab.
“He didn’t have any warrants or anything, but they held on to him for 12 hours until his mother picked him up from the police station,” Van Kampen said.
“Six cars for one kid,” he emphasized. “The smallest kid in the group.”
UPDATE (12 p.m. EST, May 17, 2016) : Tampa police justified the takedown, saying the teen was not only skateboarding in an area where it was not allowed, he resisted arrested.
But the video does not show much resisting, especially before the takedown when police did not even say a word to him.
They do claim they had warned the teen earlier that day, which they say allowed them to body slam him.
The teen has been identified as Jason Huber, who was celebrating his 15th birthday Sunday with the making of a skateboarding video.
According to WTSP:
TPD insists the teen didn’t heed officers warning: stop skateboarding downtown where it’s banned.
The injured skater tells 10News WTSP that he’d been shooting a skateboarding video with his friends, celebrating his 15th birthday, when the ride went terribly wrong. The video captures 2 Tampa police officers pull up, one officer grabs his arm and both the officer and teen go down.
“He didn’t say anything to me at all. I was really scared and I flinched to get into the fetal position. He grabbed me and threw me on the ground,” says Huber. “I kept screaming for help. I was like superterrified. Everyone was screaming and telling them to stop,” Huber says.
“We had permission from the security guard to skate there,” says Huber.
But right outside of City Hall, just down the block from Tampa Police Headquarters is part of the Downtown Central Business District, along with Ybor City, where skateboarding is banned.
He was charged with resisting arrest and skateboarding in the downtown business district. But it was Sunday, so the city’s business district was almost a ghost town.