A Minneapolis police officer played the role of tough guy when he threatened to break a teenager’s leg on video during a March 2015 arrest.
And only because 17-year-old Hamza Jeylani had the sense to record the encounter.
The teens had just left a YMCA where they had been playing basketball when they were stopped, detained and handcuffed on suspicion of grand theft auto as they explained in an interview with Photography is Not a Crime last year.
Things got heated when Webber slapped the cuffs on Jeylani, stating the following:
“Plain and simple, if you fuck with me, I’m going to break your leg before you get the chance to run. I’m being honest with you I don’t screw around.”
It was then that Jeylani asked the officer why he was being arrested, and Webber responded, “Because I feel like it.”
He also said he was “trying to be Officer Friendly.”
Unbeknown to Webber, Jeylani recorded the encounter that eventually cost the officer his job. The fact that photography is not a crime played a crucial role in Webber meeting the hands of justice in full force.
Jeylani and his friends were released on the scene after officers discovered that no crime had been committed.
City Officials say the officer was terminated due to a code of conduct violation, but they would not elaborate.
“We can’t really talk about much of the details, it’s still an open case,” said councilman Blong Yang.
The Minneapolis community has been the subject of many police abuses within the last year. In fact PINAC reported on several stories relating to police mistreatment in the city, including a young Somali man that was hit in the face by an officer for no reason.