How a viral TikTok video involving state police could affect the mental health of Delaware teens

How a viral TikTok video involving state police could affect the mental health of Delaware teens

A new video circulating on social media showing Delaware State Police arresting three teenagers in the Christiana Fashion Center parking lot is prompting calls to reconsider how police treat minors.

But the behavioral and mental health effects this interaction is having on children is also a cause for concern.

The video, in which a soldier is seen holding his knee behind a 13-year-old boy, Posted on TikTok Days Ahead from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention New report on rising rates of adolescent mental health.

The report and new data serve as a reminder to those involved with teens that repeated images of black men in distress can cause emotional distress and behavioral changes. The confrontation with the mother of a teenage girl seen on video being thrown to the ground by a Delaware state police officer is also now a concern.

Delaware State Police cruiser

what happened

Marnesia Whaley, the mother of the 17-year-old girl arrested on Feb. 11, said her daughter and three friends went to hang out at The Main Event, located at the Christiana Fashion Center. They arrived and heard screams in the parking lot and went to investigate.

Wheelie said her daughter saw Delaware State Police officers pin a small boy to the ground, so the girls pulled out their phones and started recording.

In the video, the officer stands on the ground behind the boy on his knees and walks past the person recording. That’s when he picked up Whaley’s daughter, he said.

Whaley said the officer grabbed her daughter and grabbed her behind her back as she walked away. In the video, the soldier is seen holding the girl behind her back with his hands.

Her daughter was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct because she used “obscenities” and “failed to disperse,” according to court records.

“She wasn’t resisting. … She was panicking,” Whaley said, adding that her teenager had never contacted police before that day, but began recording after seeing similar videos of police interactions. Whaley said that when the officer grabbed her daughter, “she was a little panicked. became.”

What did the police do and what are they investigating?

A Delaware State Police spokeswoman said they are aware of a “partial video” circulating online showing an arrest outside the main event and that “the incident is being reviewed internally.”

Although some people have already provided information and video from the scene, police said anyone with more information or who witnessed the incident can contact Internal Affairs at (302) 739-5911.

The teen’s mother shared mental health concerns

Whaley kept her daughter home from school the Monday after the girl’s arrest on Feb. 18, saying she was concerned her daughter wasn’t expressing her feelings in response to what happened to her just 48 hours earlier. He also received a message from William Penn High School that morning suggesting an increased police presence A 15-year-old classmate was murdered.

“I think it just grew [police] Attendance can be a bit traumatic today,” Haley said.

Whaley’s mother said that because teenagers are not adults, police need to be better trained on how to deal with teenagers. And he wants accountability for what he considers excessive force against the three teenagers arrested in the TikTok video.

“From what I saw in that video, there was no compassion,” Whaley said of the officers’ regard for the juvenile’s emotional state.

Mental Health of Black Adolescents Affected by Violent Police Videos

Mental health experts say children and adolescents who experience violence as victims or bystanders are more likely to internalize trauma. Experts say young people have similar reactions to seeing violence online.

A 2019 University of Southern California Study Black and Hispanic youth repeatedly exposed to online violent police videos have been found to report experiencing symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Delaware school counselor Tysheik Covington said exposure to such content also creates a vicious cycle that leads to children reacting in ways that are detrimental to their safety.

Child therapists say children who don’t get support after watching violent police videos or learning they “behave like people needing to defend themselves.”

Compensation owed:Wilmington is looking to make amends for racial disparity, here lies the problem

Covington says casual exposure to videos depicting police misconduct is desensitizing children who may adopt a defensive posture when confronted. He said they’re still kids, they’re probably scared while still wanting to assert themselves, but police officers view the behavior as aggressive.

He said how police treat black and brown people is not just a Delaware problem, but a nationwide problem.

“It’s not like they can go anywhere to get away from it,” Covington said. “So [for teens]It seems inevitable.”

Experts say what parents can do

The CDC suggests that poor mental health in adolescents can be mitigated by connections to family, friends, and community.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logo.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logo.

As a local school counselor, Covington also offers these tips to parents to help their teens manage their mental health:

Reporter Anitra Johnson’s work focuses on the steps taken to change, improve and give back to distressed communities. Contact him [email protected] or 302-379-5786 with tips and story ideas. Follow him Facebook.

This article originally appeared in the Delaware News Journal: Delaware teen mental health affected by viral police video on TikTok

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