According to a recently filed federal lawsuit, police officers in California shot a 17-year-old boy in the back then removed the bullets “by hand” before paramedics arrived.
The shooting took place during protests over the death of George Floyd in June, according to the suit.
The shooting happened outside of a CVS pharmacy, where police say they had been called on reports of looting and possible gunfire. As police were detaining two men in a parked car, other vehicles began leaving the parking lot, police said.
The teen – who was not armed – said he had fallen asleep in his cousin’s car after coming from a music video shoot in Oakland. He said when he woke, he was alone in the car and was frightened and confused.
According to the suit, he attempted to drive away from the scene after hearing loud noises.
When he drove past a vehicle that had been pulled over by police, the officers opened fire and hit him in the back twice, the suit claims.
Adante Pointer, the attorney representing the teen, said his back wounds suggest he was shot after he passed the officers.
Hayward Police claim they shot at the vehicle because they believed it was heading straight towards an officer.
They said officer Samuel Tomlinson was standing next to his patrol car when he saw the vehicle the teen was driving. According to police, Tomlinson and his partner Stephen Akacsos fired their weapons at the car because they believed it was a danger.
After being shot, the teen crashed, got out of the car and hid in the bushes.
Officers found him and then allegedly used their hands to remove the bullets from his back before paramedics arrived.
“It’s barbaric,” Pointer said, “the way in which they tried to minimize the harm they caused this young man.” The officers “took the bullets out and hauled him off to Juvenile Hall. It’s completely inappropriate and fortunately it didn’t cause more severe damage to him.”
Pointer tweeted pictures allegedly showing the two gunshot wounds on the boy’s back on Christmas Day.
He said the officers “took the bullets out and hauled him off to Juvenile Hall”.
The teen was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer and treated for a “grazing wound”.
Pointer says the assault charges against the teen have been dropped.
“I feel like all they saw was a black face and just believed he did (a crime),” said the teen’s mother, Jael Barnes, the boy’s mother, said in June. “Not only does he now have these physical wounds, he has these mental wounds as well, which will never go away.”
It is unclear what happened to the bullets allegedly removed by the police officers.