A video is circulating the likes of MySpace and YouTube wherein several young boys- and one girl- in Hot Springs, Arkansas, decided to celebrate Go Skateboarding Day. While skateboarding downtown, one was arrested- and it appears to be because he was skateboarding.
One youth took a picture of the Officer Joey Williams on top of thirteen year old Jarad Graham, who was facing up, and Williams has his hand around the boy's throat. After handcuffing the child, he chased the person who took the photograph, leaving the child in handcuffs. Williams later comes back, takes the child to speak with him away from his friends, and tells the boy he was in violation of city ordinance and resisting arrest... resisting arrest for what? WHY was he arrested in the first place?
When his friends come to listen, Officer Williams tells them all to go away, and that they're all in violation of city ordinance as well. He then proceeds to arrest several more people, taking the video camera and setting it on the sidewalk.
The video can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH6AYVn2yw4
I was able to reach the mayor, Mr. Mike Bush, for comment just moments ago, and was told that directly after the incident, the officer in the video was placed on administrative leave (with full pay). They are currently in the process of investigating the incident, speaking with more than 40 witnesses including bystanders and downtown merchants in the area.
"Until the investigation is complete," he told me, "we're unable to make any conclusions about what happened." When I asked him about the video, he told me he had seen it. "It's awful," Bush said. "It looks just terrible."
Remember, folks. SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME.
ARRESTED: Jarad Graham, Drew Irwin, Matt McCormack, Skylar Nalls, Robbie Brindley, and Casey Canturbury.
Here are some telephone numbers!
Bobby Southard, Chief of Police
Hot Springs, Arkansas Police Department
Phone: 1: (501) 321.6789
Phone 2: (501) 321.6740
Mayor - Mike Bush (501) 623-6863