Arresting Black 13-Year-Old Boy, Police

Police Release Footage Of Officers Arresting Black 13-Year-Old Boy For Selling Roses Outside Walmart

The Summerville Police Department in South Carolina released an edited version of officers forcefully detaining a 13-year-old boy.

After being accused of selling roses in front of a Summerville, South Carolina, Walmart, a teenager was aggressively arrested by police officers on April 1.

The Summerville Police Department recently released bodycam video from the arrest after civilians who posted mobile phone video clips on social media questioned the force used by police officers on the scene.

According to Live 5 WCSC, after a video of a violent interaction between two white police officers and two young Black boys in front of the Walmart was posted to someone’s Facebook account, the police department released an edited video of the incident.

Police said that the store complained that people outside were selling Palmetto Roses.

When officers arrived, they said they told the boys through the car’s P.A. system to stop selling the roses. They got out of their vehicle and approached the boys. While speaking to one in particular, an officer grabbed one of the teens.

Facebook user Mimi Rivers posted several clips on her page, which garnered comments from viewers regarding what took place that day.

Several days later, the police department responded with a seven-minute edited video showing the interaction between two officers as they approached the two young boys. The video described the incident before showing the footage.

The arrested boy’s attorney, Marvin Pendarvis, also a state senator representing Charleston County, said the edited video raises more questions than answers.

“It appears that the timing and selective editing of the video were aimed at justifying the officers’ actions. However, upon closer examination, significant discrepancies and omissions are apparent,” Pendarvis said.

“The facts are straightforward: Officer Ghi acted as the initial aggressor in this situation,” he added. “Contrary to claims, there is no clear evidence showing the minor punching Officer Kirkland in the face. Instead, what the video reveals is an officer approaching a 13-year-minor with immediate aggression, threats of incarceration, and unnecessary interrogation regarding the minor’s activity of selling roses.”

The boy was charged with third-degree assault and battery, but it was altered. A report stated that he was charged with assaulting an officer involved in official duties.

The Summerville Police Department then released an unedited video of the incident on April 5, one day after releasing the edited version.

“The video compilation you are about to view contains the full, unedited bodycam footage captured by Sergeant Katherine Kirkland and Officer Dante Ghi during the incident on April 1st, 2024. It also includes vehicle camera footage from Officer Melvin Wallace’s patrol car as well as surveillance video from the Walmart where the events unfolded. No edits have been made to this footage other than protecting the identities of the juveniles.”

Summerville town spokesman Christopher Makowski said Officer Dante Ghi’s bodycam was accidentally turned off while the incident was going on.

The Post and Courier reported that in his 25 years as a police officer Ghi has a history of policy violations and complaints and has had several lawsuits filed against him. Ghi was also fired from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office for misconduct in 2003, and he left the North Charleston Police Department during an internal investigation before the Summerville Police Department hired him in 2018.

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