Florida Cops Choke Black Teen Holding Puppy Over 'Dehumanizing Stares'
Police in Miami say they had no choice but to forcefully restrain a 14-year-old boy who was playing on the beach with his friends because he was giving them "dehumanizing stares."
Tremaine McMillian was roughhousing with another teen in the water when he was approached by Miami-Dade Police officers and ordered to stop fighting.
Despite quickly realizing that no actual fighting was taking place, the officers still asked McMillian to point out his mother to them.
Tremaine says he complied, but Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta claims the boy refused to cooperate and tried to walk away.
"When he started to leave the beach area, officers had to get off their ATVs to detain him. He had closed arms, clenched fists and pulled his arm away," Zabaleta told CBS Miami.
Sensing an imminent "threat" from Tremaine's body language and "dehumanizing stares," the officers placed the teen in a chokehold.
"He started choking me, and as he was choking me, I urinated on myself because I couldn't breathe," Tremaine later told a juvenile court judge.
According to Tremaine, it would have been impossible for him to be clenching his fists because he was holding his six-week-old pit bull mix puppy Polo at the time and feeding him with a bottle.
He says the puppy was injured when police slammed him on the ground.
"At that point we are not concerned with a puppy," Zabaleta told the CBS affiliate. "We are concerned with the threat to the officer."
Police ultimately booked Tremaine on a felony charge of resisting arrest with violence as well as misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
A public defender's request to have the charges reconsidered was denied by a Juvenile Justice Center judge, and his trial has been scheduled for July 16th.