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

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Confirmed Cases: 112123

Reported Deaths: 3223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
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Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
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Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
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Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
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