‘He was only vaping,’ says witness at the skate park where teen was tased by police in viral video

ATLANTA — An eyewitness is talking to Channel 2′s Larry Spruill about the incident involving an Atlanta police officer tasing a 17-year-old at the Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park.

The video starts off with the officer yelling, “Get on the ground now. Get on the ground.”

The video of an Atlanta police officer tasing 17-year-old Terion Fortson, has gone viral. Channel 2′s Larry Spruill obtained the video from the ATL Uncensored Instagram page. The video has over 100,000 views.

“I was scared, because you know, past events, of police officers and Black people, you expect him to be shot, but she didn’t,” said Brendon Aldridge.

Brendon Aldridge was at the Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park on Thursday when everything happened. He said, “He was only vaping. She asked him for his ID. He was being calm, he wasn’t being like, ‘No, I’m not going to show you my ID.’ She tased him. It was crazy, because while he was on the ground, shaking, she was like, ‘Get down, get down,’ like he wasn’t already on the ground. It was even crazier, like six other police officers pulled up and they were all dapping each other up, saying, ‘What’s up?’, hugging. I’m like, what is this? That was just crazy. It made no sense.”

The video then shows the second time the officer tased Fortson. Fortson then fell to the ground and started shaking.

Channel 2 reached out to Atlanta Police Department about the incident. A spokesperson released this statement:

“On March 24, 2022, at around 4:30 PM, an officer assigned to the Beltline observed a male vaping in a city park. The officer encountered the male, advised him of the law and advised him he could not vape there. The male walked away and continued to vape. The officer approached the male again and requested his identification, in an effort to issue the male a citation. The male refused to comply and physically resisted the officer’s efforts to detain him. The male continued resisting detention and the officer eventually utilized her taser to detain him. After being tased, the male was placed into handcuffs without further incident.

“We are aware of the incident and we are aware of the video circulating on social media showing a portion of the encounter. We will be reviewing the entire video related to this incident to determine all of the facts. At this time, that investigation continues.”

But Aldridge said Fortson wasn’t resisting arrest, “He wasn’t. Like he seriously wasn’t.”

Fortson was charged with disorderly conduct. The family said Fortson is back home and recovering. Meanwhile, the Atlanta NAACP is also investigating.

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