A shocking image shows how a teenage boy was left with a badly swollen, bloodied face after he was allegedly beaten by police officers. An investigation has been launched into whether officers used excessive physical force when they arrested Ulysses Wilkerson in Troy, Alabama, United States.
The 17-year-old needed hospital treatment after suffering trauma to the brain, swelling on the brain and a cracked eye socket, his father Ulysses Wilkerson Jr told WKRG. Meanwhile, the photo posted on Facebook by Wilkersonâ€™s mother Angela Williams has been shared more than 78,000 times. She wrote: â€˜Troy police officers did this to my son While he was in handcuffs.
â€˜Please share this shit happening in Troy nowâ€¦ I hope that they body camera was on and they havenâ€™t told me shit yet.â€™ The Troy Police Department has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the incident.
Police said that Wilkerson fled on foot when he was approached by officers near a closed business at 11.50pm on Saturday. When the teenager was caught, he refused to put his hands behind his back and reached for his waistband as if reaching for a weapon, the force said. As a result, force was used to handcuff and restrain him, according to police.
Wilkerson was taken to Troy Regional Medical Center and was then transferred to the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham. He was initially charged with obstructing governmental operations and resisting arrest, but the charges were dropped, his father said.
WSFA reported that officers later returned to the scene of the arrest where a handgun was found lying on the ground. Activists from the group We Want Justice Now are planning a protest outside the police departmentâ€™s headquarters on December 30. The organisationâ€™s Gerald Jackson said Wilkerson was walking with a friend and â€˜feared for his life, safety, and ran from the policeâ€™.
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