The photo above is of 14-year-old Joseph Williams’ face after police in Bucks County, Pennsylvania tased him.
Williams’ mother, Marissa Sargeant, released the photo and is demanding an investigation into the officers who arrested her teen. She said, “The picture speaks a thousand words.”
Williams was arrested on Tuesday in Walmart — he and his 19-year-old cousin Jordan Gibson were caught shoplifting.
According to police, they cuffed the 14-year-old but he ran away before they could put him in a cruiser.
Police officers told NBC10 that they “yelled warnings at the teen and fearing for his safety, they fired a stun gun to subdue him. The D.A. says the Taser struck the boy in the face and with his hands cuffed, the boy had no way to brace himself against falling face-first.”
Williams was left with a broken nose, multiple deep gashes, and eyes swollen shut.
Sargeant first posted photos of her son’s fresh wounds on her Facebook account. She wrote, “He was handcuff but they say he resisted arrest that yall tazzed him in his face (sic). Not only that they took him to lower bucks hospital with out his mother consent they broke his nose n (sic) both eyes were swollen shut. These prejudice cops need a rude awakening.”
Sargeant said she doubts that police are telling the truth about how the incident transpired. She said, “There’s no way, if he was running from behind, that he would get hit with a taser in the front of his face.”
She believes that cops kicked or hit her son.
But Bucks County officials stick by their story and defend the officers’ actions. District Attorney David Heckler said, “He should have stopped when police told him to. You take off running at a full clip and someone pulls your legs out from under you, and you’re cuffed from behind, you’re going to break your fall with your face.”
Williams’ family is currently threatening to sue.
“I just want some justice. I even pray for the police officers because they need help,” said Sargeant.