Atlanta, GA — “He was only vaping,” was the sentiment from eye-witnesses over the weekend who watched in horror as an Atlanta police officer tasered a 17-year-old boy, causing him to fall to the ground and start convulsing. The incident is now the subject of an internal investigation.
On Thursday, dozens of teens took to Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park and were peacefully skating and hanging out when a female officer spotted one of the teens using a vape pen. Apparently, vaping is illegal at the park, despite the fact that it is outside, so the officer claimed the right to extort the teen for doing so.
In the brief video we see the teen, 17-year-old Terion Fortson, standing up talking to the officer as she demands he “Get on the ground now. Get on the ground.” Fortson was not seen in the video physically assaulting the officer or otherwise resisting in any way that would require the following use of force.
According to witnesses, the taser came out after Fortson didn’t get out his ID fast enough.
“I was scared, because you know, past events, of police officers and Black people, you expect him to be shot, but she didn’t,” witness, Brendon Aldridge told WSB-TV.
“He was only vaping. She asked him for his ID. He was being calm, he wasn’t being like, ‘No, I’m not going to show you my ID.’ She tased him. It was crazy, because while he was on the ground, shaking, she was like, ‘Get down, get down,’ like he wasn’t already on the ground. It was even crazier, like six other police officers pulled up and they were all dapping each other up, saying, ‘What’s up?’, hugging. I’m like, what is this? That was just crazy. It made no sense.”
As the video shows, the officer tasers Fortson but it didn’t have much of an effect. The teen just stood there before the officer fired a second time. The second time, it definitely penetrated his skin, causing him to collapse to the ground.
Once he was on the ground, he was no longer a threat but the officer deployed the taser once more causing the teen to start convulsing uncontrollably on the ground. The video is hard to watch which is why local news refused to air it.
When reached for comment, the department claimed Fortson was resisting and said this was the reason the taser was used. However, according to the videos below and witnesses, Fortson was not physically resisting at all.
“On March 24, 2022, at around 4:30 PM, an officer assigned to the Beltline observed a male vaping in a city park. The officer encountered the male, advised him of the law and advised him he could not vape there. The male walked away and continued to vape. The officer approached the male again and requested his identification, in an effort to issue the male a citation. The male refused to comply and physically resisted the officer’s efforts to detain him. The male continued resisting detention and the officer eventually utilized her taser to detain him. After being tased, the male was placed into handcuffs without further incident.
“We are aware of the incident and we are aware of the video circulating on social media showing a portion of the encounter. We will be reviewing the entire video related to this incident to determine all of the facts. At this time, that investigation continues.”
Below are the two videos from ATL Uncensored.
Unfortunately, as we have reported, cops will go to great lengths to enforce arbitrary laws about vaping in public. As we reported last year, in Ocean City, Maryland, a group of young men were outside hanging out similar to the scene in Atlanta. The men were bothering no one. They were not robbing, looting, stealing, or otherwise harassing passersby. They were talking among themselves while a few of them inhaled from vaping devices.
Because government claims the right to tell people where they can and cannot inhale from vape pens — even when outdoors — police approached the group of young men to initiate the process of extortion.
According to police, when officers approached the men and told them about a local ordinance prohibiting smoking and vaping outside of the designated areas on the boardwalk, the young men stopped vaping and walked away.
However, as the men walked away, one of them dared to take another puff from the vape, thus triggering the officers to escalate the situation. As stated above, police in the land of the free will go to extreme, violent, and often deadly lengths to enforce the most arbitrary laws for crimes with no victim.
One of the teens in the video was then tasered with his hands up, hog tied, and dragged off.
Police in Ocean City Maryland tasered a 17-year-old teenager after they accused him of vaping yesterday. pic.twitter.com/PVzagAV5i1
— Rebecca Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) June 13, 2021