Police called to a reported dispute over a slow cooker at a backyard barbecue Friday night in Westland, Michigan, faced off with angry father Ray Brown, 33, in an online video.
“What is the crime right now?” someone shouts in a chaotic scene as an officer shines a flashlight into the phone camera. Police tell a woman holding Brown’s 2-month-old son to step away.
“That’s my child,” Brown yells in the video, taking the child. “He can be exactly where he’s at. Give me my child! Give me my child! This is my son. He ain’t got to go nowhere.”
A woman off-camera tells Brown to calm down as officers try to speak with him and the baby cries, the video shows. An officer tells Brown he’s being arrested for disorderly conduct.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
Officers try to pry the baby from Brown’s arms while ordering him to give up the child. An officer hits Brown with a Taser and he collapses as a woman catches the baby.
“They tased him with the baby in his hands!” someone shouts as a woman screams.
The video, originally posted to Facebook by neighbor Kelvin Williams, has been viewed 345,000 times. It was later posted to Twitter and Facebook by activist Shaun King.
“It’s one of the most disgusting assaults I’ve ever seen. This is why we say Black Lives Matter — because American police consistently act otherwise,” King wrote on Facebook, where the video has been viewed an additional 260,000 times and generated 1,300 comments.
Paramedics examined the baby, who had no injuries, reported WDTV.
Brown was arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace, hindering a police investigation, damage to property, neglect of a minor child, disorderly person, resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer, reported The Grio.
Westland police on Monday defended the actions of the officers in the incident, which took place about 9:30 p.m. Friday after a woman called to report a dispute over borrowing a slow-cooker, reported ABC News.
“The officers indicated in their report that the man was aggressive and was gripping the child so tightly that they feared the man might actually be hurting the child,” Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik said during a news conference, the network reported.
Jedrusik said officers deployed the Taser within inches of Brown’s skin, preventing the charge from being transmitted to the baby or the police holding him, ABC News reported.
Police also released a statement calling the Taser deployment “the safest option,” reported WDTV.
But the baby’s mother told ABC News that she disagrees.
“I think they were way out of line,” Nicole Skidmore, 28, told the network “They could have handled the situation differently because my son was in his arms. They didn’t care about my son.”
Brown’s attorney, Angela Martin, said Monday her client has Taser marks all over his body and a boot print on his head, reported The Grio.
“He’s not acting right. Neither is his baby,” she said, according to the site.
An investigation into the incident continues, police told ABC News.