Indiana police claim they have bodycam footage that proves a 15-year-old boy deserved to be bodyslammed and placed in a chokehold.
However, the Hammond Police Department said it cannot release the footage at this time because their IT guy is on vacation and they apparently have no clue how to post a video on Facebook.
But they assured us the video shows the use of force against Dominic Garibay was justified because police are ordering him to "stop resisting" and to "relax, calm down" - never mind the fact that police are trained to say those things when making aggressive arrests.
The incident took place Wednesday night at the Festival of the Lakes when Garibay and his brother came across two teenage girls fighting against each other.
Garibay says he attempted to record the fight when a Hammond police grabbed him from behind, body slamming him before pouncing on him and placing a chokehold on him while driving a knee into his back.
Police claim he slapped their arm away, which triggered their reaction.
"In the state of Indiana, you cannot put your hands on a police officer," said Hammond police spokesman Lt. Steven Kellogg.
But Garibay said he was only trying to loosen the chokehold on him because he was unable to breathe.
Garibay's brother began recording the arrest and attempts get closer and immediately an officer holds his arm out.
"Take one more step towards, youll be next," officer Picari states.
At one point in the video, Garibay yells, “He’s breaking my ribs!”
The officer that is holding Garibay down can be seen a minute and fifteen seconds into the video pouncing on him while he is already facedown on the ground.
Seconds later the officer that slammed Garibay towards the ground is pointed out.
"You hit a fucking minor," Momontejano yells.
"He slammed slammed him on his face," Garibay brother says.
"You are listening to him, he is full of shit," officer Picari responds.
At that point Momontejano and Picari argue back and forth on how her family is raised. The video ends with police walking Garibay away.
It begins in the moments after the officers slammed the teen to the ground.
“As soon as I see two grown officers with their knees in Dominic’s back, I immediately started to scream, 'That’s my son!’” Elizabeth Momontejano, told NWI Times.
"Please get your knees off his back, record this shit," Momontejano yells.
Kellogg said that department was working security for the event and that he plans to release body camera footage of not only the altercation but what led up to it in the coming week.
Kellogg believes the officers were appropriate and attempted to de-escalate the situation.
“[Body camera footage] clearly shows our officers attempting to de-escalate the situation, telling him multiple times to stop resisting,” Kellogg said, according to NWI Times.
“[The officer] pushed me,” Garibay told WGN News. “I was confused so I just tried to, like, go around him, and he started grabbing me by my clothes like really aggressively. … I was like, ‘What the heck? ... I’m not doing anything.’ And then he got me in a chokehold and put me to the ground.”
At that point, Garibay says he put his hands on the officer in an attempt to loosen the chokehold so he could breathe.
Garibay and his brother were waiting for their mother to pick them up when they noticed the fight between the two girls.
In the middle of the fight, they say they realized they were away from the waiting spot and decided to turn back around.
At that moment, an officer was right behind Garibay and grabbed him by the shirt.
“Dominic was asking, 'What did I do? What did I do?,'” Momontejano said.
Kellogg disagrees with that stating that Garibay was actually walking towards the fight.
Hammond Police Department released the following statement on Facebook:
"On July 18th, at approximately 11:05 pm, officers working a local festival were breaking up a violent fist fight between two teenage girls. As officers were attempting to secure the area around the fight and affect the arrest of the juveniles, another juvenile male, age 15, attempted to get through the area being blocked off by officers. One officer, told the young man three times to step back away from the area. In an attempt to block access to the fight, the officer extended his arm to keep back the young man attempting to get through the line. The young man slapped away the arm of the officer protecting the scene.
At this point, the officer made the decision to arrest the juvenile for disorderly conduct. The officer attempted to affect the arrest of the male and the male began to yell and resist arrest. The officers on scene took the male to the ground and were able to secure the male in handcuffs. The male continued to resist and yell profanities throughout the encounter. An officer attempted to walk the male to a secure area when he again began to resist arrest and was taken to the ground once more until a transport vehicle could be brought closer to the area.
A thorough investigation is underway to ascertain the facts of the situation and appropriate action will be taken. After all body camera footage has been reviewed, and we know more with certainty and confidence, we will share with you whatever it is we are able to at that time."
So now it's apparently only a matter of waiting for the only person in the department who knows how to upload a video to Facebook to decide for ourselves what really took place that night.
Carlos Miller contributed to this report.