After seeing video of a 15-year-old shoved to the ground outside of Times Square Grand Slam in Tyler, several community members came out in the fog and rain to support the teen and his family.
On Tuesday evening, about eight protesters, some wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts or masks, gathered near the entertainment complex and on neighboring sidewalks to voice their concern.
Attendees explained the boy was charging his phone when employees asked him to leave or order something. Security officers then escorted him outside.
Patsy Handy said the teen was handcuffed and then pushed to the ground by one officer, as the video on social media showed.
“No 15-year-old should be slammed to the ground,” Handy said.
She said the officers took the incident too far and used excessive force.
“He had a right to not hurt somebody’s child. You didn’t have to slam that baby to the ground,” Handy said.
Others said the officer used excessive force, and the actions shouldn’t have been used against anyone.
Kyndra McAlexander said she came out to support the 15-year-old who was “body slammed” Saturday night.
Fellow protester Amy Trammell questioned when a body slam would be required in any situation.
“If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone,” Trammell said.
Amori Mitchell said she and others who gathered at Grand Slam were there to stand behind the family of the teen.
“We’re here for answers,” Mitchell, who was holding a sign saying “Enough is Enough” on the sidewalk of Old Bullard Road, said.
Mitchell also agreed that the video shows excessive force being used by the security officers.
“It’s not even safe to be a 15-year-old anymore,” Mitchell said.