The footage, which the outlet said it obtained under a Texas State Archives Act from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, showed a deputy responding to a shelter in San Antonio run by the contractor from the federal government in Southwest Key and deploying a Taser on a 16-year-old. boy who would have become angry and aggressive.
In a statement to CNN, the sheriff’s office said deputies responded to the facility on May 12, 2020, after a caller reported a minor became “angry and uncooperative” and “damaged several bed poles and destroyed storage containers “.
When the deputies arrived at the shelter, they made contact with the appellant and “gave verbal orders to the minor and when the minor did not comply, the assistant answering took the minor and then detained him”, the sheriff’s office said.
Body camera video obtained by Reveal showed the deputy talking for several minutes with shelter staff, who decide to press charges against the boy.
Images show the boy speaking to staff in Spanish, trying to get him out of a bathroom and calm him down, while MPs have given orders in English. The boy is heard repeatedly cursing members of the shelter staff and the assistant standing nearby.
“Ready? I’m going to taser this kid,” we heard a member say in English.
The deputy tells the boy to get up and turn around, then quickly deploys his Taser. The Reveal report indicates that the Taser was deployed for approximately 35 seconds.
“After BCSO learned of this incident, Sheriff Javier Salazar immediately opened an internal affairs investigation to investigate any wrongdoing that may have occurred,” the sheriff’s office told CNN in a statement. The office said it was alerted to the incident last month, “that’s when the internal investigation began. Shortly after, the deputy was put on administrative leave.”
The sheriff’s office said it would not provide a copy of the footage to CNN, “because the video contains a minor, in addition to this incident being administratively investigated.”
Southwest Key, which operates the facility, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Department of Homeland Security and Health and Social Services also did not react immediately.
Representative Joaquin Castro, who represents San Antonio where the shelter is located, called the video “horrific and a clear example of excessive force and over-policing” and called for an investigation by the Inspector General of HHS.
“I urge a full investigation by the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services into this incident, as well as the department’s policy regarding the use of local police and a review of the training of shelter workers. for refugees and trauma-informed care, practices, ”Castro said.
“No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect by law enforcement. The incident reaffirms the importance of quickly placing these children without their parents under the control. custody of relatives or sponsors in the United States while their asylum claims are judged.
CNN’s Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.