A Florida police officer has been fired after online video of him roughing up a Black teen during a heated confrontation in the Tampa suburb of Largo.
On Tuesday, the Largo Police Department announced the termination of officer Brian Livernois after an internal investigation found he violated department policy, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“Actions like this are not acceptable and violate the public’s trust — which every employee has worked so hard to earn,” police Chief Jeffrey Undestad said in a statement, adding that the department “takes great pride” in its positive relationship with the community.
“This situation warranted the former officer’s termination,” he added.
The April incident unfolded after police said Livernois stopped a group of teens near the side of the road after a 17-year-old matched the description of a suspect who threatened to shoot someone. Footage posted to YouTube and Facebook shows the two exchange words before Livernois drags the teen to the front of his cruiser.
“You got a problem with me?” the officer says. “You want to f–k around with me?!”
Other people off-camera are heard urging the teen to “just chill, bro” and “don’t resist” as Livernois shoves him against the hood of the car. The teen turns to face Livernois, 43, with his hands up, only for the officer to whisk him back around, forcefully grabbing him by the back of the neck.
“Oh my gosh, what the f–k?,” someone yells amid piercing screams. A young man in a red shirt is seen rushing up to confront Livernois, after which the officer orders him to “get out of my face right now.”
A shouting match ensues, and Livernois tells the bystander, “You’re going to jail, dude.”
Not only did the officer arrest the teen, but also the friend who rushed to his defense, according to NBC Miami.
The teen’s mother, Ann Arnold, identified her son as 17-year-old Roger Tullis and said though she’s happy Livernois was fired, she wants to see charges brought against him.
“I think more should’ve been done besides him firing,” Arnold, 41, told Spectrum Bay News 9. “I feel like he should have been charged because if my son would’ve hit him, he (Tullis) would’ve got charged with a battery.”
According to the internal affairs probe, Livernois violated two policies, the first for “bullying, discourtesy or rudeness and using foul language” during the incident, Undestad said. Secondly, the police chief said Livernois broke policy when he used a prohibited choke hold/restraint on Tullis, an action that ultimately led to his termination.
The now-fired officer admitted to using the “mandibular jaw pressure point technique” to restrain the teen but acknowledged that it’s not authorized in the department’s use of force policy, except in cases where aggravated physical resistance is present, Spectrum Bay News 9 reported.
Livernois was with Largo PD for 7 years.
Watch more in the video below.