Arrest video goes viral

Erica Marshall, manager of the Delaware Campaign for Smart Justice, issued a statement Feb. 19 on the video that recently surfaced of a New Castle County police officer beating a 16-year-old boy.

The Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust began an investigation Feb. 18.

“The ACLU of Delaware and the Delaware Campaign for Smart Justice commend the attorney general for opening an investigation into the beating of Roger Brown by New Castle County law enforcement officers,” said Marshall.

“We urge the New Castle County Police Department to suspend the officer involved in the attack pending the thorough and complete investigation by the AG’s office. 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.

“This incident also highlights the urgent need for more accountability and transparency on the part of law enforcement in Delaware. Police agencies across the state have a frayed relationship with many of the people they police. Repairing that relationship is essential to making our communities safe and just, and it will require holding officers accountable when they do wrong. Improving trust between officers and the people they serve also means providing enough transparency to judge whether such accountability exists.”

“Finally, we applaud Roger’s friend Jaiden for continuing to record this situation despite attempts by officers to get him to leave the scene. Recording the police is a First Amendment right,” said Marshall.