RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. —
Hundreds of health care professionals are calling for the firing of a Rancho Cordova officer who was seen on video punching a 14-year-old boy, according to a letter they wrote to Police Chief Kate Adams.
The letter was hand-delivered on Tuesday by doctors, nurses and a family member of the boy who read the letter addressing Officer Brian Fowell's actions aloud before handing it to Adams. The health care workers showed up in white coats and scrubs.
The letter, which describes the police department's response to Fowell's actions as "anemic," reads that he should also be charged with assault and child endangerment.
"As healthcare and public health professionals, we express solidarity with the intimidated and injured communities of the region," the letter read. "This episode of police violence now stands indelibly as an experience of trauma for Jah and for his entire family and community. The actions of the officer have not made us more safe; they have made us all less safe."
More than 350 doctors, nurses, public health and mental health professionals signed the letter calling for Fowell to be fired. The event was done in partnership with Black Lives Matter Sacramento.
"I'm just very thankful that these doctors came together to show solidarity with the family and show this is a traumatic experience for this boy," BLM founder Tanya Faison said.
In a video that has millions of views on social media, Fowell was seen pinning the boy on the ground, twisting his arms behind his back, grabbing him behind his neck and punching him repeatedly. This happened April 27 at the corner of Mather Field and Mills Station roads in Rancho Cordova.
A statement from the Rancho Cordova Police Department reads, "The deputy was in the area due to complaints from citizens about hand-to-hand sales of alcohol, tobacco and drugs to minors."
The statement went on to say, "The deputy saw what he believed to be a hand-to-hand exchange between an adult and juvenile. As the deputy turned around, he lost sight of the adult, who left the area. When the deputy approached the juvenile, the juvenile was uncooperative and refused to give the deputy basic identifying information. He told the deputy he was 18 years old."
Adams said an internal affairs investigation is underway. Fowell was temporarily reassigned to a different role outside of the Rancho Cordova Police Department.