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Caught on Camera: Fall River Police Officers’ Use of Force Against Teen Under Investigation

Police officers in Fall River, Massachusetts, are under investigation after using force to subdue a 17-year-old student.

Fall River Police said the department is reviewing cellphone video showing officers trying to subdue a student Thursday at the Resiliency Preparatory Academy. The video appears to show one of the officers repeatedly punching the student's head.

The boy's father said the incident started because of a uniform issue and quickly escalated.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," Frank Formisano said. "Two full grown men were on top of my son, punching him in the head."

Formisano says the officers asked him to take off the T-shirt he was wearing and he refused. He says students at the school, including his son, have behavioral problems, and police were in the wrong.

"These kids have issues as it is," he said. "They have learning disabilities. They're on medicines. And I just feel the police took it too far."

Police said the student would be summonsed to court, adding that they were working to obtain surveillance footage from the school.

"In any use of force incident, the totality of the circumstances must be considered and we will not rush to judgment until all facts are obtained," the department said in a statement. "The matter will be reviewed through the chain of command and the justification of force will be determined."

"He's no angel," Formisano said. "He wouldn't be in that school if he was an angel. I just think looking at that video is kind of brutal. It looked like he was getting jumped or mugged."

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