A 12-year-old rapper, who has appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was arrested in Georgia, and a video of the arrest found below has sparked online controversy and resulted in an internal police probe.
Corey Jackson, mostly known by his performing name, was at the Cumberland Mall in Georgia on October 6, when he was approached by a Cobb County police officer. The officer grabbed his arm, and after confirming Jackson’s age, told the teenager he’s going to jail.
Jackson’s aunt taped the altercation and was heard telling the cop:
“I have his father on the phone and you won’t even speak to him.”
Still grabbing Jackson by the hand, the officer made to move forward when the clip became turbulent. Jackson’s aunt engaged in a scuffle with the officer. There was some incoherent yelling, and at one point, the aunt screamed:
“You put your hand on my [expletive] nephew.”
Cobb County police spokeswoman Sarah O'Hara said of the incident:
"She was still holding on to the camera as she's assaulting my officer."
Jackson was charged with felony obstruction, misdemeanor obstruction, and criminal trespassing, while his aunt was charged with felony obstruction, giving false ID, criminal trespassing and misdemeanor obstruction.
Jackson posted picture evidence of what appears to be his bruised arm and claimed the officer was treating him like a rag doll.
The young rapper’s family insists he did no wrong and is hiring a lawyer. A family friend, Toya Brown, told NBC News on Wednesday:
“They don’t know why he was targeted, he’s a very good kid. He doesn’t get into any trouble. He’s very well spoken and polite. Ask anyone who has met him and they would tell you that.
He’s 12, he’s not harming anyone. He shouldn’t have been treated like that.”
Jackson had received previous warnings not to sell his CDs at the mall, but on the day he was arrested, the boy had only gone there to meet up with other artists, Brown explained. A mall security guard had seen Jackson and alerted the police officer.
Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register said he’s aware of the incident and has promised to launch "a more thorough investigation [that] will ultimately show the facts that we all need to make a final determination if that [arrest] was justified or not."
Since the news broke out, social media users have been calling out the police officer for rough-handling a kid. The incident has also revived conversation about the cops being called on African Americans for seemingly trivial matters.