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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.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
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Jackson30513
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Yazoo2734
Newton2714
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Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
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Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
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Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
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Hancock9011
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Jefferson Davis772
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Panola703
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Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
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Elmore3398
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Lowndes23812
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Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
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Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
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Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
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Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
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Clay272
Lamar230
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Cleburne141
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