Police: Brandon Johnson arrested


Indianapolis - The teenager whose allegations of police brutality by Metro Police gained national attention is behind bars. Brandon Johnson was arrested on weapons and gang charges along with his brothers.

Johnson, now 16 years old, was arrested around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday for gang activity and possession of a firearm.

The Rev. Mmoja Ajabu, a family friend, described the scene seconds after police kicked in the door to the east side home Johnson shares with his mother at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

"The door come open and they kicked it in and she fell on the ground here and a police officer came and put a gun to her head," said Ajabu.

Armed with a search warrant for the house and for Johnson's 18-year-old brother Terrell Jackson, 14 officers went room-to-room, but the warrant failed to say for what.

"They grabbed Terrell," Ajabu said. "Terrell had not shown up to court for a traffic ticket. For a traffic ticket!"

Instead of taking Terrell and leaving, Ajabu says officers turned their attention to Brandon and his 19-year old brother Miketavious Jackson and their bedrooms.

"They located gang pictures, gang activity, clothing with gang monikers on them and things of that nature," said IMPD Sgt. Linda Jackson, explaining what led to Brandon Johnson's arrest.

Jackson said police had also become aware of the possibility of a gun.

Ajabu doesn't dispute that claim. In fact, he says police knew for certain there was a gun. He says the gun and a legal permit he showed Eyewitness News belong to Brandon's mother, who had been stopped by police days prior.

"She's got a gun. She's got a gun permit. She used to be a security guard, so she's authorized to carry a gun. They looked in her purse she showed them the gun 2-days before," Ajabu added.

Police confiscated a .357 and a BB gun. Brandon was charged with possession of a firearm and for criminal gang activity, charges Ajabu claims are in retaliation for accusing officers of police brutality last year.

Jerry Piland, the officer accused of delivering too many blows to Brandon's head while Brandon resisted arrest, was exonerated by the city's Police Merit Board.

"You may have rendered your decision, but this ain't over," said civil rights activist Al Sharpton last November before announcing plans to file a complaint with the Department of Justice.

Now, new claims that a traffic warrant was misused to retaliate.

"This was the result of an on-going investigation put on by the East District Street Crimes Unit, in collaboration and with our gang unit," said Sgt. Jackson.

"It's not just. I'm saying they need to quit harassing this family," responded Ajabu.

Chief Paul Ciesielski said the warrant was valid, and expects more details to emerge.

Family members say Brandon Johnson has been transferred from juvenile to the adult system, along with his brothers, who are facing drug and gang charges. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry's office is still reviewing the case.