The Los Angeles Police Department Monday identified the off-duty officer involved in an altercation with a group of teenagers in Anaheim as Kevin J. Ferguson, who is back at work but not out in the field.
The department released Ferguson's name through an update to a press release. A spokesman said in a telephone interview Tuesday the officer also returned to work Monday, but not in the field. He had been on administrative leave following the Feb. 21 confrontation. A department investigation of his role in the clash is underway.
Video of part of the physical struggle between Ferguson and 13-year-old Christian Dorscht quickly went viral, igniting outrage and drawing nearly 300 people to the streets in protests.
In the video, Ferguson is seen tightly gripping Dorscht as a crowd of teens walking home from school urge him to let the boy go. When two other teens attempt to intervene, pushing and tackling Ferguson, he pulls a gun from his waistband and discharges it toward the ground.
The Anaheim Police Department initially arrested Dorscht and a 15-year-old boy on charges of making criminal threats and battery on a peace officer, although both minors were eventually released. Ferguson was not arrested.
The struggle apparently was ignited by a student enroute home from school who cut across Ferguson's lawn. The officer reportedly had repeatedly ordered teens to stay off his property. According to students, the policeman shouted obscenities sparking the confrontation with the 13-year-old.
Ferguson's name was reported by a number of news organizations prior to its release by the LAPD, including the OC Weekly, which published Ferguson's name based on property records last Friday.
Per the Police Officers' Bill of Rights, Ferguson will be provided with evidence used against him prior to any internal investigation into his conduct. Anaheim Police Department spokesman Daron Wyatt said the department would provide the LAPD with "all relevant pieces" of the department's criminal investigation necessary to complete their internal inquiry.
Dorscht and the other teen who was arrested will only be provided that evidence if charges are filed and if they request it through a discovery process, Wyatt said.
The department will not release body camera footage and audio of 911 calls to the public until their criminal investigation is complete.
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