The Original Black Panthers of Milwaukee have called for a boycott of a Wisconsin mall and the firing of a police officer after a video surfaced of the officer punching a teen outside the mall during an arrest.

The video, which was shared widely on social media, shows a 17-year-old being punched by an officer during a chaotic incident that began Friday when mall security called police about a group of males causing a disturbance. 

King Rick led about eight Black Panthers in a protest Saturday at the Wauwatosa Police Department and Mayfair mall. The group demanded the officer resign or be fired and called upon prosecutors to charge the officer. They also urged shoppers to boycott the mall and met with security there.

“For too often are we being subjected to racial profiling in this mall, far too often,” Rick said in a video posted to his Facebook page. “Those dynamics have to change and we’re here to demand that they change.”

Earlier at the Wauwatosa Police Department, the Black Panthers were met by Lt. Jeff Farina outside the building.

“I can assure you this: Investigation has been started and the command staff is aware of this incident that happened at the mall,” Farina said, according to video posted on Rick’s Facebook page.

Rick said the group also is calling for Wauwatosa police officers to undergo diversity training, citing other incidents in the city, including the fatal police shooting of Jay Anderson Jr.

“We are not taking anything lightly,” Rick said.

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On Friday, Wauwatosa police issued a statement about the incident and the viral video. After officers got the call requesting help with a group of five males “causing a disturbance,” officers found several of those involved in the parking lot, according to a police news release.

An officer tried to speak with them and determine what had happened. Other video shows the officer initially trying to speak with the teen, who refused and then began “to physically fight with the officer,” according to the police statement.

Wauwatosa police said they are aware of the other viral video showing the punch and said it “shows only a small segment of the interaction between the suspect and the officer.”

In the statement, Police Chief Barry Weber said the department takes all use-of-force situations seriously and thoroughly reviews all such incidents, and will do so with this one.

The teen was cited for disorderly conduct, battery and resisting an officer, according to police.

Follow Ashley Luthern on Twitter @aluthern

 

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