Lauren Jauregui Blasts 'Blatant Disrespect' In Rancho Cordova Arrest Video of Teen

Lauren Jauregui
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Spotify

Lauren Jauregui attends Spotify Hosts "Best New Artist" Party at The Lot Studios on Jan. 23, 2020 in Los Angeles.

Lauren Jauregui was incensed by video footage in which a Rancho Cordova, California, police officer arrests a 14-year-old teen while wrestling him to the ground and punching him.

"This officer very obviously used excessive force on a child," Jauregui tweeted on Wednesday morning (April 29) along with a link to the official statement from the Rancho Cordova PD. "Not a 'juvenile'; a child. He is 14 years old and clearly being assaulted by a full grown man. Punched, choked, dragged through gravel, had his head held down, and had the full weight of a grown man on top of him," she alleged.

Jauregui's comments came a day after the police department issued a statement in response to the spread of the video, laying out what the police said was their understanding of the incident while saying that the investigation is still in its "infancy." The note explained that on Monday an officer patrolling the area because of complaints from citizens about "hand-to-hand" sales of alcohol, tobacco and drugs to minors.

"It’s important to put video footage into context, especially in relation to a use of force incident," according to police, who said the deputy involved saw what he believed was a hand-to-hand exchange between an adult and juvenile. "As the deputy turned around, he lost sight of the adult, who left the area. When the deputy approached the juvenile, the juvenile was uncooperative and refused to give the deputy basic identifying information," according to police, who said the minor told the deputy he was 18.

Police said the deputy tried to detain the teen in order to investigate further, at which point 14-year-old Elijah Tufono allegedly "became physically resistive," causing the deputy to lose control of his handcuffs, which landed several feet away. "The deputy attempted to maintain control of the juvenile without his handcuffs and while alone waiting for his partners to arrive and assist him. Ultimately, the deputy recovered tobacco products from the 14-year-old juvenile, which is presumably the reason for his resistance. The juvenile was cited and released to his guardians," reads the statement.

In a string of tweets, Jauregui wrote that even if the incident was over marijuana -- which it does not appear to have been -- "this is excessive force and the blatant disrespect couple with labeling it as anything but that is an insult to this child and his family. This is disgusting behavior that exhibits the true reason why people do not trust the police."

A number of tweets later, Jauregui -- who has long shared her social justice views on Twitter -- decried police violence against minority communities, demanding that the department "FIRE THIS MAN & CHARGE HIM WITH BATTERY & ASSAULT OF A MINOR."

Tufono spoke to Fox 40 and said he had asked a stranger to buy him tobacco, which he had in his hand when the officer approached. “And that’s when the cop pulled up. And he asked me what was that in my hand. And I had gave him, as soon as he asked me that, I just gave it to him,” the teen said, adding that the officer "became confrontational" after the tobacco was handed over, admitting that he didn't tell the truth about his identity out of fear.

“I did lie to him and I didn’t cooperate, and I know that and I made that mistake. But that didn’t give him no right to do what he did,” said Tufono, who admittedly resisted when the officer tried to put cuffs on him without explaining why.

Check out Jauregui's tweets below.


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