A video posted on Facebook Sunday showing two white police officers restraining a young black boy in Georgia has gone viral and sparked an internal investigation.
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department released a brief statement on its own Facebook page on Monday addressing the unsettling recording, which has been viewed more than 500,000 times and shared more than 14,000 times, and counting.
'We have been made aware of a video that is making its way around social media involving two of our officers,' the post from the police read. 'We are reviewing the facts around this incident and will be publicly addressing the issue tomorrow.
'We ask that you remember we have made a promise of transparency to this community and have upheld that promise on multiple occasions.'
On Monday afternoon, the police department put out a press release explaining that the boy in the video was 'extremely emotional distraught' over the arrest of his father, and that the officers tried to 'de-escalate the situation' and calm him down.
The 1 minute, 25 second cellphone video was captured by a woman named Ariel Collins, who identified herself as a cousin of the child depicted in the recording.
The clip begins with the 10-year-old boy named Eric being pinned to the ground by two burly uniformed officers.
It was previously reported that the child was seven years old. Police have since confirmed he was 10.
Eric, who is shirtless, lies face down in a patch of gravel and grass, with one of the cops twisting his arms behind his back with one hand, while holding a pair of handcuffs in the other.
The slender boy, who appears scared, tells the officer in a high-pitched voice: 'I'm sorry.'
When the cop asks him a question, which is inaudible on the recording, the child nods and says, 'Yes, sir.'
The cop with the handcuffs informs Eric he will let him get up and then releases him.
The two officers are then confronted by several women, who angrily challenge their handling of the situation.
Collins, who shared the video on Sunday, wrote in a status update that what her footage did not capture was the officers slamming her young cousin against a car.
The woman insisted that the grade-schooler did nothing wrong and was only trying to talk to his father, who was sitting in a police squad car.
According to the Athens-Clarke Police Department, officers responded to the scene on Sartain Drive at 6.30pm on Sunday for a domestic violence report and arrested Eric's father.
'Once in custody, the suspect's 10-year-old child became extremely emotionally distraught. On more than one occasion, the other adults on scene attempted to restrain the child without success,' the press release from the law enforcement agency read. 'As an officer was walking the suspect to his patrol car, the child attempted to block his path and again had to be removed and restrained by the adult family members.'
As the boy's dad was being placed in the back of the patrol car, the boy lunged at one of the officers, who caught him 'mid-air and the momentum of the child launching himself caused the both of them to land on the patrol car,' according to the statement.
Police on Monday released the officer's body camera video, which appears to support their version of events.
The video shows the 10-year-old running around the officers, seemingly lunging at the cop and landing on top of the police cruiser.
'The child continued to be emotionally distraught, and continued with the outburst, at which time our officer placed him on the ground,' the news release said. 'While on the ground, the officer continued to attempt to de-escalate the situation, assuring the child that he was not under arrest and that he would let him up if he would remain calm.
'Once the officer believed the child had calmed down, he allowed him to return to his feet. The child continued to be emotionally distraught but was not resistant towards our officers.
'Our officer began to console the child and helped him to understand what was happening to his father. The child asked to speak with his father and was allowed to do so by our officers.'