A Florida teenager was allegedly put in a chokehold, slammed to the ground and arrested for simply looking at Miami-Dade police officers. 14-year-old Tremaine McMillian was wrestling with another teenager over Memorial Day weekend when he was approached by police and told that his behavior wasn’t acceptable. After McMillian tried to walk away, officers restrained the young man, saying that he gave them “‘dehumanizing stares, clenched his fists and appeared threatening.”
McMillian says he was carrying a 6-week old puppy at the time, the Miami New Times reported.
“I feel that should never have happened,” McMillian said. “I don’t like it. I feel sad. He got in front of me on the ATV and he slammed my hand. Then he started choking me. Then my 6-week old Pit Bull mix named Polo got hurt and bruised his front paw when the police grabbed me and slammed me down. It makes me feel sad“.
“And my puppy got hurt for no reason at all. I wasn’t doing anything, just walking away“.
Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta had a different account of what happened.
“They told him that behavior was unacceptable,” said Zabaleta. “He walked away and officers followed him. They asked where his parents were. He said he was not going to take them to them. When he started to leave the beach area, officers had to get off their ATVs to detain him. He had closed arms, clenched fists and pulled his arm away“.
“Of course we have to neutralize the threat. When you have somebody resistant to them and pulling away and somebody clenching their fists and flailing their arms, that’s a threat“.