(TUTWILER, Miss.) — The police chief of Tutwiler Miss., and four other city employees were fired after a video posted on Youtube captured them cheering as cinnamon was poured into the mouth of a mentally disabled teenager.
In the video, town clerk Angela Chandler can be seen pouring cinnamon into the mouth of Danareus Martin, 18, who was doing community service at city hall as a way to pay off some misdemeanor fines.
Martin’s lawyer, Ellis Pittman, told ABC News he believes Martin was singled out for comments he made in court.
“He made some comments regarding the officers … that they weren’t doing their job and they weren’t right,” he said.
And officers allegedly took those comments to heart. When Martin reported for duty, Pittman said he was taken to a shed behind city hall.
“[They] put on boxing gloves and gave him the opportunity to show ‘how the police aren’t nothing,’” he said.
Pittman said his office has a copy of a video that shows “nothing more than him being beat down,” however, Pittman has not seen the video.
Pittman said his client plans to seek damages, and that the district attorney was also reviewing the case.
The “cinammon challenge” involves swallowing a large amount of cinnamon without any water — a near impossible task that frequently results in people coughing a plume of the spice, choking and even vomiting.
A Youtube search for “cinnamon challenge” yielded 33,400 results.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jaime Chambers, KSWB
Chieu Luu and Huizhong Wu, CNN
Hope King, CNN
Megan McNulty, Deseret News