It's the shocking moment caught on tape that's stirring outrage. A police officer slaps a 10-year-old boy, saying the boy just bit him.
A bystander said, "Do not (blank) hit that child! You do not hit an underage child.'
"He bit me," said the cop.
As the boy is led away, he cried out for help. "Help, please help!"
Angry bystanders couldn't believe what's happening.
"This cop just hit a child," said one.
The video shows that the boy does apparently bite the officer, who then gives the child a slap.
The incident happened in Eugene, Oregon, during an emotional child custody dispute. The cop caught the boy after he ran away because he didn't want to be taken away from his mother and turned over to his father, who had won legal custody.
The boy was reunited with his mother, who'd been handcuffed because she's the one who told him to run away. When the mom was uncuffed, cops had to pry them apart as they took the boy away.
But the officer is being blasted by some internet bloggers, with one writing: "The cop should have showed more restraint. Period."
But a police spokesman is defending the officer. Officer Karl Durr said, "The officer was being bitten in the web of his hand, which is very painful and he just simply tapped him in the head to stop him from doing that."
Now, get this, the boy's father told us he thinks the cop actually did the right thing.
Brian Wolfe said, "The officer seemed very level-headed. He seemed professional the whole time. He knew what he could and couldn't do."
Brian Wolfe says he's battled for years with the mother over their son, Zion. A court order gives him full custody, and he says the cops were simply doing their job.
INSIDE EDITION showed the controversial video to former New York City police detective Nick Casale for his opinion.
"There is no intention upon the officer to inflict pain upon the child, it's just to take control of the situation," said Casale.