No charges for Boynton Beach police officer in 'leg swipe' video, state attorney's office says

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - The Palm Beach County State Attorney will not pursue charges against a Boynton Beach police officer seen on video apparently leg whipping a handcuffed teen and knocking him to the ground.

The incident happened in early May and went viral after a cell phone video surfaced showing part of what happened.

On Wednesday, prosecutors said they would not pursue criminal charges because the boy in the video, Kevens Jean-Baptist, did not get seriously hurt and provoked the officers involved.

"That's crazy because how about if that was one of their kids,  the officer handcuffs?" said Frantz Jean-Baptist, the brother of Kevens.

Video showed 13-year-old Kevens Jean-Baptist standing with his hands behind his back.

That's when a Boynton Beach police officer appeared to walk over to the boy and swipe his legs out from underneath him.

In a memo released by the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office, investigators said Kevens taunted the officers, cursed at them and even became physical with the officers by chest bumping them.

"You know it's little kids. They're going to talk and no matter what he said, the police doesn't have no right to put his hands on him like he did," said Frantz Jean-Baptist.

Prosecutors said while the actions of the officer "may have been poorly executed," they explained the actions by the officer were in response to an out-of-control boy who was not listening or being respectful.

"We had an extensive review of that case,” said Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aaronberg.

When reached for comment, Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz released this statement:

"We appreciate the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s objective review of this incident.  This matter is now an active internal affairs investigation.  We will make no comments until the conclusion of the investigation." wrote Katz.

The lawyer for the Jean-Baptist family, Kevin Anderson, said he did not expect criminal charges to be filed. He said his team will now wait to see what action Boynton Beach Police will take following their investigation.

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