Officer detains teen, captures audio saying ‘because you’re white’

Photo by Getty Images / Fernwood

After a viral video published on Monday via Facebook – people are stunned by the suburban Chicago police officer who claimed to have detained a teenager for being white.

Videos by Rare

According to a report from WMAQ-TV, Dezi Baczek said she and her friends were leaving a pawn shop to sell an item when they were approached by a detective from the Lake Villa, Illinois Police Department. Baczek, and a group of her fellow friends, were then suddenly detained by the officer.

“I was yelled at to sit down,” Baczek told WMAQ. “I said, ‘What’s the reason?’ And he said sit down or I could turn around and be arrested, so I sat down at that point.”

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Baczek then had the idea to begin recording the incident.

“Because I’m a teen? Because I have baggy pants?” someone who can be heard in the video said.

“Because you’re white,” the officer said.

Lake Villa Police Chief Craig Somerville identified the detective as Esteban Gomez. Somerville said the teens were with a suspect in a theft investigation and at least one of the teens was cited for obstructing police for giving a false name.

Somerville said that Gomez admitted that his words were poorly chosen and that he regretted what he had said.

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“When the subject questioned Gomez about his arrest, Gomez reacted by answering the teen’s inquiry with an inappropriate response,” Somerville said in a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page.

Somerville said in the statement that Gomez will be disciplined for Monday’s incident.

“I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by what is depicted on this video,” Somerville’s statement read. “This occurred on my watch and I assume full responsibility.”

You can watch the video below thanks to Dezi Baczek. WARNING: the following video does contain offensive language.

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