2 Fired Police Officers Reinstated; 17-Year-Old At Center of Controversy Speaks Exclusively To CBS 3
By Todd Quinones
UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Two Upper Darby police officers who were fired following an incident involving juveniles in custody will be reinstated (See Related Story).
However, they have not been cleared of the criminal investigation into the case which remains open.
Upper Darby Police officers Michael Givens and Ryan Wisely will be back on the job on Wednesday.
Both were fired this summer following an incident caught on surveillance video involving three juvenile suspects who were in police custody, including this 17-year-old whose identity we are not revealing.
He says he was handcuffed when one of the officers got physical.
“The officer came towards me and smacked me in my face,” the 17-year-old said.
His mom now wants an attorney.
“They treated him like an animal,” she said.
Sources familiar with the surveillance video tell Eyewitness News the video shows the 17-year-old suspect being punched and kicked.
The 17-year-old admits he was being uncooperative after he and two 14-year-olds were arrested in connection with allegedly stealing a cell phone from a store.
He says when he was in custody one of the officers eventually took the handcuffs off and things got violent.
“As he forced me down he was throwing his arm against my face, trying to hit me in my face and he hit me in my lip, and my head,” the 17-year-old said.
“I felt another officer kicking me in my leg. That’s why I got the bruises on my leg at,” he said.
However, during recent arbitration, an arbiter recommended firing the officers went too far, and they should get their jobs back.
Upper Darby Mayor Thomas Micozzie won’t release the surveillance video. He says both officer Givens and Wisely both believe what they did was wrong and he says it’s time to move forward.
“I don’t think six months without pay or benefits and all they’ve been through with them and their families would be considered lightly in my book,” Micozzie said.
The mother of the 17-year-old believes the officers should not have gotten their jobs back.
A spokesperson with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office says the investigation remains under review, and that a final decision on whether or not charges will be filed should be made within the next two weeks.