Viral video shows an Atlanta police officer using a Taser on a 17-year-old boy accused of vaping and ignoring the officer's demands at a skate park on Thursday. “Get on the [expletive] ground! Get on the ground now," the officer can be heard screaming at the teen in video posted online by the independent media outlet Atlanta Uncensored.
Terion Fortson told CBS 46 he was chilling and had "just hit a vape at the park" when the officer came up to him aggressively. "I’m 17 years old. It should have never went that far,” Fortson said of the tasing.
Warning: Videos in this story show a teen being subjected to a Taser and may be triggering for some viewers.
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Atlanta police said in a statement that the officer assigned to the Beltline encountered Fortson at the Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park around 4:30 PM. She advised him of a law that doesn’t allow vaping in public parks and said the teen “continued to vape.” The police said in a statement: "The officer approached the male again and requested his identification, in an effort to issue the male a citation. The male refused to comply and physically resisted the officer's efforts to detain him. The male continued resisting detention and the officer eventually utilized her taser to detain him. After being tased, the male was placed into handcuffs without further incident."
Police added in the statement:
“We are aware of the incident and we are aware of the video circulating on social media showing a portion of the encounter. We will be reviewing the entire video related to this incident to determine all of the facts. At this time, that investigation continues.”
Brendon Aldridge, a witness to the encounter, told Channel 2 Action News that Fortson—who faces a disorderly conduct charge—wasn't resisting arrest. "He was only vaping. She asked him for his ID. He was being calm, he wasn’t being like, ‘No, I’m not going to show you my ID,’" Aldridge said. "She tased him. It was crazy, because while he was on the ground, shaking, she was like, ‘Get down, get down,’ like he wasn’t already on the ground. It was even crazier, like six other police officers pulled up and they were all dapping each other up, saying, ‘What’s up?’, hugging. I’m like, what is this? That was just crazy. It made no sense.”
Chyanne Thomas, Fortson's aunt, told CBS 46 she picked him up from jail. “I looked at the video. He never once charged at her," Thomas said. "He didn’t approach her. She was scared of him because he’s a big Black dude.”