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Illinois Teen Brutally Beaten by Police After Fleeing Traffic Stop

A 17-year-old boy who was seen on video being beaten by police officers was hospitalized with a broken nose and bleeding near his brain, the New York Times reports. The incident took place in Oak Lawn, south of Chicago, where police found the boy with a semiautomatic handgun Wednesday evening. Officers had stopped the car in which the boy was riding for a traffic issue, and he ran. Officers said that he was not listening to commands. A minute-long video shows police beating the boy. Two police officers punched the 120-pound boy, identified as Hadi Abuatelah. On the ground, he was struck in the legs and face at least 10 times.


The boy’s lawyer said that before the beating, he was a passenger in a car. It is unknown why the car was stopped or why the boy decided to flee. “If he broke the law, we have a process for that in America. You arrest the person…The process is not to smash his head into the pavement,” said Zaid Abdallah, the boy’s lawyer. Abdallah was unable to clarify whether or not Abuatelah had a gun, but he said that a firearm was never pointed at police. Abuatelah is a senior in high school, training to be a barber. Abdallah described the boy as “emotionally scarred to the point where he only wants his mother and father next to him.” The Chicago chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations called for the release of body camera footage from all officers involved.


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