ASPEN, Colo. — Police in this Colorado ski town are defending their use of force against a teen accused of rolling a joint at a bus stop after videos of the arrest circulated on social media and raised concerns about excessive force.
A video obtained by The Aspen Times shows police first pushing the student up against a bus shelter wall and then taking him down to the ground. One officer applies pressure behind the teen’s ear as the 16-year-old screams that he has not done anything illegal. Bystanders also yell at the officers to stop.
Police Chief Richard Pryor said the officers’ actions were appropriate. He said the teen resisted arrest, which wasn’t captured on the video, and that action and marijuana use can’t be tolerated at a public bus stop, which is near several schools.
“We appreciate this is an unusual set of circumstances for people to view and it’s challenging for people to see these kind of images,” said Pryor, who viewed the video obtained the newspaper along with other police officials.
The teen was arrested on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession and resisting arrest and turned over to his parents.