Cops in California shot a teenager twice in the back — then removed the bullets “by hand” before paramedics arrived, a federal lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit filed this week claims that officers in the Bay Area city of Hayward wrongfully shot the 17-year-old in the back in June, then took out the bullets themselves and dropped the teen off at a juvenile facility, the Mercury News reported.
“It’s barbaric, the way in which they tried to minimize the harm they caused this young man,” Adante Pointer, the lawyer for the teen’s family, told the newspaper.
“It’s completely inappropriate and fortunately it didn’t cause more severe damage to him,” the attorney added.
Pointer also posted photos of the unnamed teen’s wounds on Twitter.
“The cops did this to a kid when the eyes of the world were looking!” he wrote in another post. “Imagine what happens when NO ONE is looking!”
The lawsuit, filed Monday, claims the teenager fell asleep in his cousin’s car near the scene of looting in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests in the city.
Police said cops were dispatched to a CVS pharmacy in the area on reports of looting.
The teenager, however, claims he woke up around 4 a.m. on June 1, frightened and confused, and drove past the cops — who opened fire and struck him in the back.
Hayward Police Officer Samuel Tomlinson said he believed the vehicle was going to hit him so he opened fire, the Mercury News said.
The second cop, Police Officer Stephen Akacsos, also fired, believing “his partner had either been shot or struck by the vehicle,” Hayward police said in a statement after the shooting, the outlet said.
The teen crashed the car and fled, and hid in bushes, where he was found by police and arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.
The charge was later dropped, the newspaper said.
“I feel like all they saw was a black face and just believed he did (a crime),” said the teen’s mother, Jael Barnes. “Not only does he now have these physical wounds, he has these mental wounds as well, which will never go away.”
Hayward police referred questions to the city attorneys office, the outlet said.
City Attorney Michael Lawson declined to comment comment because the city had not yet been served with the lawsuit.
It is unclear what happened to the bullets allegedly removed by the cops.