Mother speaks out on WPD use of force video in question - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Mother speaks out on WPD use of force video in question

Posted: Updated: June 18, 2014 07:58 AM
As a devoted mother of six, Lytonya Austin said the past few weeks have been the toughest time in her life. As a devoted mother of six, Lytonya Austin said the past few weeks have been the toughest time in her life.
Austin is the mother of 16-year-old Tyrell Rivers who was arrested back in April on drug charges. Austin is the mother of 16-year-old Tyrell Rivers who was arrested back in April on drug charges.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

The mother of a teen who was the victim of police using excessive force during an arrest was shocked when she saw video of the incident in question.

During the arrest a camera inside the police cruiser captured the use of force, which is now under review by the SBI and has not been released to the public.

As a devoted mother of six, Lytonya Austin said the past few weeks have been the toughest time in her life.

"We're having restless nights, especially for information. He's confused. He has restless nights," said Austin. "He spends a lot of time to himself and so do I. So it's an emotional thing for me and for my son."

Austin met with District Attorney Ben David Tuesday. She said that she watched the video from her son's arrest in April. She said another officer was present while her son, 16-year-old Tyrell Rivers, was taken into custody on drug charges.

Corporal James Johnson from the Wilmington Police Department has been placed on leave with pay, but police will not confirm that any other officers were involved with the incident in question.

"This use-of-force incident remains under investigation. The SBI is currently handling this matter and we are not at liberty to make any further comments at this time," Chief of Police Ralph Evangelous said. "We are confident that a thorough investigation will be conducted. We ask for everyone's patience."

Austin did not comment on what exactly she saw on the video in question, but said it was very upsetting.

"I was very shocked, very shocked," said Austin. "I know it's wrong and that will come out. It's just unbelievable and it hurts a whole lot, it really does."

The SBI is handling the ongoing investigation, and therefore David said he would not comment until next week at the earliest.

The family plans to approach community groups such as the NAACP, church groups, and parent organizations for support.

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