HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Nearly a month after a Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy was captured on camera punching a teenager, the boy's family is getting support from community activists, calling on the sheriff to discipline the deputy.
The family of Carlos Rodriguez, a high school sophomore, recruited help from FIEL Houston to press Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. The family and the organization, along with family attorney Alexandra Farias Sorrels, voiced their dissatisfaction with the actions made at this point against Deputy Bert Dillow.
They spoke in front of the sheriff's office on Wednesday, pressing on Gonzalez to terminate Dillow.
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Since the March 26 encounter took place, Dillow has since been placed on desk duty pending an internal affairs investigation.
In the video, captured by the teen's GoPro camera mounted on his ATV, Rodriguez was out joy-riding with two other friends in his northwest Harris County neighborhood.
It wasn't until the group stopped for gas at a convenience store when Dillow interacted with Carlos.
Dillow is seen in the video asking for the teen's identification before telling him to put his hands behind his back. The encounter intensifies when the teen pulls away. Of this moment, Rodriguez told ABC13 he "panicked a little."
That led to Dillow raising his voice before hitting the teen, who then falls to the ground.
The deputy then continues to hit Rodriguez as he's laying on the ground.
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Rodriguez was detained, cited for evading arrest and then released to his parents.
Ahead of Wednesday's news conference, FIEL's executive director Cesar Espinosa laid out their reasoning to call for more severe consequences against Dillow. Espinosa said in a statement:
We are deeply troubled by the events we have witnessed on the chilling video. And there are more questions than answers after seeing the video. What led to the sheriff acting so violently? Why was Carlos targeted to begin with? And why is this officer still in law enforcement, when we have seen that he has been involved in other 'incidents' with people of color. We want answers for our community and the Rodriguez Family who after this violent encounter have been left fearing for their son. No young child should be treated and intimidated in this manner. We are tired of seeing incidents like this and we must do everything in our power to make sure that these events don't happen to anyone else. Our community deserves answers, our families deserve answers, and most importantly Carlos deserves answers.
Eyewitness News has learned Dillow was also under investigation while he was a Baytown police officer in the death of a man back in 2002.
ABC13 is reaching out to the sheriff's office for response to the family's calls for action.