State authorities are investigating video that surfaced showing an Illinois police officer spraying two teens with mace – as they sat handcuffed in a holding cell.
The video, which is dated January 26, 2015, shows the two teens sitting in the holding cell at the Alton Police Department. An officer then walks in holding what appears to be a can of pepper spray, says something, and then nonchalantly sprays both teens directly in their faces. One of the teens can be seen writhing and kicking in agony for several minutes afterwards.
“It’s infuriating to me to see this officer coming in and spraying these kids who are handcuffed,” said James Gray, President of the Alton NAACP said to KMOV-4.
Gray then slammed Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons, saying that he doesn’t approve of the way the department is being run.
“He’s up for re-appointment but I do not think he should be reappointed, he has to know about this and possibly many more things like this they haven’t sent to me,” Gray said.
Simmons said he has known about the incident since March when a high ranking officer told him what took place. Simmons said it then took two months for officers to write a report on the incident, which he said he received May 6.
“It raised a red flag and appears to be a very serious issue. However, it will be investigated by internal affairs and everything will be looked over before any type of discipline will be issued,” Simmons said.
Simmons told News 4 he is upset that his officers were slow in reporting the incident to him. He believes the delay may be due to the fact that many officers do not like some of the reforms he has put in place, and are therefore trying to find a way to oust him from his post.
Watch the video below: