by Adam Manno
"The teen continued resisting and ended up on top of the officer," according to police. "That’s when several witnesses pulled the teen off of the officer. The teen was then handcuffed and placed in the back of the officer’s cruiser."
Both the teen and the officer were hurt during the struggle.
"Several witnesses approached and pulled the offender off [Responding Officer] and [Responding Officer] handcuffed the still-resisting Offender," according to the CPD incident report of the arrest.
All officers involved in the arrest were uniformed, CPD spokesman Charles Francis told City Paper on Tuesday. The man in eyewitness photos who appears to be wearing a blue shirt and restraining the teenager is a private citizen who assisted in the arrest, according to Francis.
"We’re not going to release the civilian’s identity because it could endanger his safety," he said.
The teenager was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center "where his release is being coordinated," the police department said Tuesday afternoon.
Marvin Pendarvis, an attorney who represents Charleston and Dorchester counties in the S.C. House of Representatives, told CP that he is representing the teen on Thursday morning.
"The only thing we can do is get all the evidence, obviously, review any video, reports, and witness statements, and go from there," he said. "We’ll do our due diligence and we’ll see where that lead us."
Pendarvis confirmed that the teen was released from detention late Tuesday afternoon.
"He had the boy kind of in a chokehold," she said in an interview with CP. "He had his arm around the kid’s neck and there was a police officer holding the kid’s hand behind his back in cuffs."She said she pulled out her phone to photograph the arrest after she saw how he was being restrained.
There are 31 kids enrolled in the program, according to city spokesman Jack O'Toole.
Charleston-area community organizer Johnathan Thrower, who goes by the name Shakem Ahket, thinks that the rules are unnecessarily cumbersome for children who are just trying to make a few extra bucks in their time off.
"This is another thing that people have to take into consideration: When these young children go and sell flowers, they’re not thinking about the process of going to City Hall and getting a permit," Thrower said.
CPD says it is standard not to arrest kids or teens selling the roses.
"Consistent with CPD practice, the officer never intended to arrest the teen for violating city Code 17-109," the report said. "He was going to take the teen home, release him into the custody of his parent or guardian with a court date for Family Court."
"He didn’t chase these kids nor did he use excessive force in making the arrest," said Charleston police chief Luther Reynolds in a statement. "The young man made the unfortunate decision to resist the officer and this entire situation could have been completely avoided had he cooperated with the officer."
Thrower believes the rules specifically target Charleston's black youth.
"I think it’s totally racist," Thrower said. "This has been going on since I was little. Mostly, you would see poor black youth selling the roses to try to make money for candy, a snack, a soda."