An attorney for the parents announced the filing of the two lawsuits Tuesday. Television station KVIA reports both suits accuse Officer Jose Rivas and four other officers of using excessive force and violating the civil rights of the eight children in the July 5 confrontation and another incident in late 2016.
The incident reportedly took place near a recreation center in the Lower Valley Area of El Paso, Texas. The video, which was posted by a Facebook user who goes by the name AJ-King Stoner, showed the police officer confronting a boy.
The video showed a boy sitting on the sidewalk and the police officer standing next to him. The officer’s hand was placed on the boy’s head.
A gaggle of boys then gathered around the officer and began yelling at him. The cop then pointed his handgun at the boys and shouted at them to “back off”.
The boys continued to scream until he put his gun back into the holster and called for additional officers on the radio.
Minutes later, another officer ran into the frame of the video. Together, the two men pushed the young boy onto the ground dragged him on the pavement and handcuffed him. The other officer waved his nightstick threateningly at the crowd and pushed a woman who dared to come close.
"It's all good," said the boy recording the footage. "We're going to put a report on these two fools. It's all good."
However, he was also grabbed by the officer and put in a squad car - arrested apparently for filming the incident. Amid the altercation, the boy handed his phone to the woman who recorded the police officer handcuffing and throwing him into the car.
The police officer turned to the woman and threatened her with consequences and said, “I know where you live.”
“I don't [care],” she responded. “I'll move.”
The officer then moved towards another boy who looked even smaller in stature. The cop towered over him and said, “Do something”.
A voice was then heard saying, “He pulled out a gun on a little kid. That's assault. That's assault on a minor.”
The boy was then grabbed and pushed against the squad car.
An El Paso Police Department internal investigation cleared Rivas of any wrongdoing.
Ron Martin, President of the El Paso police union, says the department did extensive research, even using six civilians to review footage, and assist in the investigation, which reports Rivas was pointing at just one child.
"You can't see him go back-and-forth he's looking around he's not doing that just for the hell of it. His brain is giving him that warning there's a threat," said Martin.
Solomon Radner, the attorney for the seven plaintiffs, says he's not buying that, and that the proof is in the video. Radner says the offenses of officer Rivas aren't just pointing a gun. He also claims that the officer violated the children and their parents constitutional rights.
"There's absolutely no excuse for it there's no justification for it when you're gone at a group of children and then claiming I was scared I thought they might attack me makes no sense," said Radner.
In the second incident, which occurred back in November of 2016, Officer Rivas allegedly used excessive force to arrest a teenage girl.
A unnamed female officer also allegedly used excessive force took a house key from the girl's bra, and two other officers allegedly used that key to enter the girl's house without a warrant or probable cause.