RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – Video has gone viral showing Rancho Cordova Police Officer beating a black teenage boy.
The Rancho Cordova officer has been identified as Brian Fowell and the victim is 14-year-old Elijah Tufono.
Tufono stated the altercation began after he asked a stranger to purchase some tobacco for him and had it in hand. Tufono said he was approached by Officer Fowell regarding the transaction and remember simply handing the Swisher Sweet to the officer.
Tufono says the officer became confrontational despite him handing over the tobacco right away. This was probably because what he had purchased was a ‘Swisher Sweet’, which is usually used as a wrap for marijuana. Out of fear, Tufono said he was not truthful with the officer.
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.SGT. TESS DETERDING, SACRAMENTO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE SPOKESPERSON
Tufono said when the officer tried to put handcuffs on him without telling him why, he pulled back and that’s when the two began fighting.
According to the department:
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.SGT. TESS DETERDING, SACRAMENTO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE SPOKESPERSON
“I mean, I do forgive him. I have nothing against the cop. He was just doing his job, I guess,” said Tufono.
Below is the full statement from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and Rancho Cordova Police Department: