— GIFCOP (@gifcop) May 31, 2020
14 year old boy his name is Elijah Tufono, this was over a pack of cigarettes. The officer “lost track” of the adult he witnessed hand cigarettes to Elijah and instead tried to detain Elijah after he refused to Identify himself. that last paragraph is disgusting. pic.twitter.com/Lo5fYaYN4s
— Lil Eazy Vert™ (@supermaddd) May 29, 2020
This makes me SO HEATED. We need to get that pig JAILED. They had the audacity to say that child was ‘resistive’, as if that grown ass man couldn’t arrest him without using physical force pic.twitter.com/MC86Nu0S2a
— سآين (@justtokeepyouuu) May 28, 2020
Young boy, 14, Elijah Tufono.
— Deweyoxberg (@Deweyoxberg) May 28, 2020
The Rancho Cordova Police Department issued a statement on Tuesday defending the officer’s behavior and suggesting the teenager had it coming. Here is the key section of the response from Sgt. Tess Deterding:
It’s important to put video footage into context, especially in relation to a use of force incident. In this case, the deputy saw what he believed to be a hand-to-hand exchange between an adult and juvenile. As the deputy turned around, he lost sight of the adult, who left the area. When the deputy approached the juvenile, the juvenile was uncooperative and refused to give the deputy basic identifying information. He told the deputy he was 18 years old. Having reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was occurring, the deputy attempted to detain the juvenile so he could conduct further investigation. The juvenile became physically resistive at that time, causing the deputy to lose control of his handcuffs, which landed several feet away. The deputy attempted to maintain control of the juvenile without his handcuffs and while alone waiting for his partners to arrive and assist him.
Ultimately, the deputy recovered tobacco products from the 14-year-old juvenile, which is presumably the reason for his resistance. The juvenile was cited and released to his guardians.
This type of situation is hard on everyone–the young man, who resisted arrest, and the officer, who would much rather have him cooperate. The community should know our deputies have a heart for the Rancho Cordova community, especially for the youth they serve through the schools, PAL sports, and our new Youth Center.