A White Indianapolis police officer has been fired in connection with the brutal beating of a 15-year-old bi-racial boy, according to Blackvoices.com.
Brandon Johnson claimed four White officers brutally beat him on May 16 as his younger brother was being arrested. Johnson sustained severe wounds to his face, a black eye and a broken nose as a result of the beating. Officer Jerry Piland was fired on June 10 in the wake of the incident.
According to Indianapolis Police Chief Paul Ciesielski, following an internal investigation, the beating occurred after Brandon’s brother, Vincent Johnson, had been arrested for breaking and entering.
Police were attempting to subdue Brandon Johnson, who had been directed to leave the scene, when, Ciesielski said, Piland, a resident of the neighborhood where the incident occurred, showed up.
Off-duty and in plainclothes, Piland hit Johnson several times in an effort to subdue him while another officer, who had struggled unsuccessfully to handcuff Johnson, had pinned the youth on the ground.
“It was a difficult decision, but I know it was the right decision to terminate his employment because that certainly serves as an example that we have a zero-tolerance policy,” Police Chief said in a news conference, according to Blackvoices.com.
Officers claimed Johnson tried to spur a riot and resisted arrest, but prosecutors refused to file charges against him.
“Officer Piland’s initial actions and use of force were within policy as he came to the aid of an officer engaged with a person who was resisting arrest,” Ciesielski told theindychannel.com.
According to Ciesielski, the other officers involved will not be reprimanded for the incident because they did not violate department policy.
Piland’s firing will be reviewed by the police organization Indianapolis Civilian Police Merit. The other officers, who had been assigned to desk duty, will return to street duty immediately.
“I’m grateful to have one bad cop off the streets, but there was a lot of wrongdoing here that day,” Johnson’s mother, Chantay Chandler told the Associated Press.
But others believed Piland’s firing was not necessary.
“They had to take an action swiftly and surely because there was a crowd gathering,” Sgt. Bill Owensby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police told theindychannel.com. “Brandon was attempting to incite the crowd and do something. Clearly, there was a resisting arrest , and clearly, the officer’s actions ceased once he was handcuffed.”
According to Piland’s attorneys, the officer was placed on unpaid leave after the incident. They said he plans to appeal his firing.