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Police bodycam footage shows Michigan officer punching teenager with mental health issues

ALBION, Mich. – Newly released police body camera footage shows a handcuffed 13-year-old boy with mental health issues being punched and pepper-sprayed by Michigan police.

The video shows Da'veon Cieslack screaming fearfully and pleading for his life and help. 

According to authorities, a grandmother called police and told them her grandson was being unruly -- hiding her keys and throwing pillows. Officers from the Albion Police Department arrived, handcuffed Cieslack and placed him in the back of a police cruiser. One officer, who had been to the house many times, and Cieslack knew each other by name. The officer said he was aware of the boy's mental health issue. 

Police officers dealing with mental health patients have always been a challenging and unpredictable situation. In this case, things escalated as the officer and a social worker debated what to do. Police prepared to take him to a juvenile detention facility. 

"Please give me one more chance. I have church tomorrow. Just give me one more chance. I'll do anything," Cieslack pleads in the video. "I'll even clean up the police cars for you guys. I'll do anything."

When told he would spend the night elsewhere, Cieslack begins to smash his head against the window. A police officer opened the door to stop him and Cieslack begins to struggle -- kicking and spitting.

"Close the door," an officer can be heard saying. "I'm going to pepper-spray him."

Video shows the police officer punching into the vehicle.

Only one person involved -- the 13-year-old boy. Cieslack was charged with resisting and obstruction. He's been in a juvenile detention facility since the night of the incident, more than 5 months ago. 

The police officer who punched him has been let go by the Albion police. Prosecutors reviewed the case, but did not issue any criminal charges.

Local 4 Defenders investigated the incident and will report Monday what happened with the police officers and what the members of the community think about the force used.

A full statement from the Albion police can be read below: