Mother: Alabama police beat black 17-year-old son

Parents of an Alabama teenager said Friday that their handcuffed son was severely beaten during a run-in with police and they want answers from authorities about what happened.

Posted: Dec 29, 2017 8:05 PM

TROY, Ala. (AP) — Parents of an Alabama teenager said Friday that their handcuffed son was severely beaten during a run-in with police and they want answers from authorities about what happened.

The mother of 17-year-old Ulysses Wilkerson posted an image of her son's bruised and swollen face on Facebook and the photo was widely shared on social media. Wilkerson, who is black, was walking behind a downtown business in the city of Troy when he was startled by police on the night of Dec. 23, representatives for the family said in a statement. He ran from the officers and when police caught up to him, they beat him, the family said.

"As a mother I was shocked devastated and horrified to see my son this way," Angela Williams said Friday at a news conference with other family members. Some of them wore All Lives Matter T-shirts and occasionally wiped away tears.

Police said they used force after Wilkerson reached into his waistband for what they feared might be a weapon, Pike County District Attorney Tom Anderson told CNN . Wilkerson was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental operations, both misdemeanors, city officials said.

The mayor of Troy, Jason Reeves, said he asked for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to review the incident. He said the officer involved has been placed on leave.

"I thought it was important for the state to ... give an independent assessment of the matter," Reeves said in a statement.

Wilkerson's eye socket was broken in three places and his face was severely swollen, his family said.

Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, a local activist who is working with the family, said the teen has few memories about what happened.

"He remembers one thing, a big tall white officer kicking him in the face. He remembers that," Glasgow said.

While Wilkerson is African-American and remembers being kicked by a white officer, the family stressed that it was not a racial issue. Glasgow said the family didn't care about the race of the police officer.

Troy is a city of about 19,000 people, some 50 miles south of the state capital of Montgomery. About 55 percent of the population is white and 39 percent African-American, according to the 2010 Census. The city's main employer is Troy University.

"The mother asks for justice. The father asks for justice. He didn't care if he was white, black purple or polka dotted. ... It's not about black and white. It's about right and wrong," Glasgow said.

Attorneys for the family said Troy police owe the "community answers and transparency."

"Where is the dash cam footage? Where is the body camera footage? Ulysses' family and the community deserve answers," the attorneys said.

The lawyers include Ben Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was killed by George Zimmerman in Florida, and Michael Brown, a 17-year-old African-American who was shot to death by police in Ferguson, Missouri. Zimmerman was acquitted and the Ferguson officer, Darren Wilson, was not indicted.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
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Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 814025

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1140561910
Mobile722691323
Madison52017686
Shelby37304341
Baldwin37087540
Tuscaloosa34966599
Montgomery33971725
Lee23149240
Calhoun22159470
Morgan20659372
Etowah19764496
Marshall18254300
Houston17310405
St. Clair15921337
Cullman15325290
Limestone15222198
Elmore15086284
Lauderdale14157294
Talladega13723272
DeKalb12574259
Walker11089366
Blount10102174
Autauga9901146
Jackson9793180
Coffee9182189
Dale8864181
Colbert8791200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6743127
Covington6685179
Chilton6592160
Russell626158
Franklin5935105
Chambers5560142
Marion4958126
Dallas4889199
Clarke473482
Pike4720105
Geneva4564126
Winston4476101
Lawrence4266117
Bibb421786
Barbour355675
Marengo334089
Monroe330462
Randolph327663
Butler324894
Pickens313982
Henry311265
Hale309487
Cherokee300057
Fayette290979
Washington251151
Cleburne247058
Crenshaw243775
Clay240767
Macon230762
Lamar217846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178838
Lowndes174161
Wilcox167738
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125844
Choctaw87027
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