Louisiana police on Thursday launched an internal investigation into the violent arrest of a Black teenager at a bowling alley after video emerged showing at least one officer throwing punches. The Lafayette Police Department said authorities were called to the Acadian Lanes Bowling Alley on Saturday after reports of a man with a gun—but officers didn’t find anyone matching the caller’s description. Video of the incident circulating on social media shows one officer punching the teen and slamming him into a door. It’s unclear what happened before the footage, but authorities say the officers returned to the bowling alley parking lot 30 minutes after the initial gun call for an unrelated traffic stop. Officers arrested the teenager and charged him with interfering with a police investigation, resisting arrest, and battery of a police officer. No gun was found on the scene. Lafayette Police Chief Scott Morgan said one officer has been put on administrative leave and two others have been removed from their regular duties.
There were two teenagers involved in the incident, and while authorities have not identified them, attorney Ronald S. Haley Jr. said in a statement that his clients are 16-year-old twins, Gerard and Jabari Celestine. “At this time we are vigorously pursuing justice for our clients, who we strongly contend are victims of racial profiling and systemic racism at the hands of Lafayette police,” Haley said, according to NBC News. “To start, we want the police department to release all information and body cam footage pertinent to the events of last Saturday evening.”