back to top

An Off-Duty Officer Pinned A Black Teen To The Ground And Threatened To Kill Him For Being In His Yard

"You came into my fucking property, I'mma fucking kill you."

Posted on

An off-duty police officer in Illinois held a black 15-year-old down by the throat and threatened to kill him for allegedly trespassing, in a confrontation that was caught on video by the teen's friend.

"You came into my fucking property, I'mma fucking kill you," the officer, who is white, tells the teenager, identified by media outlets as Jordan Brunson.

Jordan told NBC News that he and his friend had left a basketball game in the town of Lansing, Illinois, when he was jumped by three boys.

Then, when heading home, Jordan said he heard his friend calling for help and hiding in the yard. That's when he said he was grabbed by the officer.

In the video, the teenager repeatedly asks to be let go, and the officer repeats that he trespassed on the property.

"Why are you doing this to me, then?" Jordan asks.

"Because your friend is a fucking idiot," the officer says.

"Why you throw me in the ground?"

"You're trespassing in my fucking yard, you understand that?" the officer responds.

BuzzFeed News reached out to Jordan's attorney and family, but did not immediately hear back.

However, Jordan’s aunt, LaShawnya Brunson, told the New York Times that she was "disgusted" when she saw the footage on Sunday.

"I was upset. I was angry," she said, adding: "But my anger intensified when I realized it was a cop."

The violent incident is now under investigation by the Lansing Police Department, where the unidentified officer is employed, according to a statement released by town officials.

Lansing Police Det. Steve Roberts told BuzzFeed News the department is also investigating the fight that preceded the recorded encounter, as well as the actions of the off-duty officer, who he declined to identify.

In a statement, police said the original fight had been with a 15-year-old white teenager suspected of giving one of them a drink that contained drugs.

The teens, however, dispersed before officers arrived.

According to police, sometime after the fight the off-duty officer found a backpack in his backyard, and a white 15-year-old, who said he had been in a fight with black teens, walking on his property. Police say a black 15-year-old with a backpack — presumably Jordan — then approached.

Police did not detail what happened at that point, only that both attempted to leave.

"Both juveniles attempted to leave at that point in time," police said. "The off-duty officer told them to stay until the arrival of police."

Lansing police did not make any reference to the officer's claims about trespassing.

According to the statement, the officer then detained the black 15-year-old boy.

A woman standing on the porch of the home is also heard in the video saying, "They're on their way."

"You stay put," she tells the person recording the video. "You came to the wrong house."

Both of the teens were turned over to an on-duty police officer, who responded and took them to their parents.

In his interview with NBC News, Jordan said he did nothing to provoke the officer's violent reaction.

"I didn't assault him or do nothing to cause him any harm or anybody around him," he told the station. "He could've at least told me not to go anywhere, like, I would've stayed if he had told me not to go anywhere."

Roberts told the New York Times the officer involved in the incident is still employed by the department, and remains on active duty during the investigation.

Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Salvador Hernandez at salvador.hernandez@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.