Police officers in Chicago detained and handcuffed a 10-year-old boy as he played in his grandparents’ front yard because they thought he matched the description of someone they were trying to track down.
Footage recorded on a mobile phone shows the boy, who is visibly terrified, handcuffed in front of the police officers as they question him about a gun.
The police said they’d received multiple calls of a 10 to 12-year-old with a gun in the area and that the boy ran from them when they approached him, NBC Chicago reports
You can watch the footage here:
This is sickening.
10-yo black boy playing outside grandmother's home was wrongfully detained and placed in handcuffs! Chicago police say it was a case of mistaken identity.
Poor kid was so scared that he wet his pants.
These cops need to be held responsible for this.
— Together we rise ?? (@Matsamon) June 7, 2018
The boy’s uncle, Victor, confronted the officers at the scene, and can be heard on the video asking the police why his nephew was in handcuffs.
They’re telling them that someone called them saying that there is a 12-year-old black kid on a bike with all blue on had a gun.
There was about five little black boys with all blue on.
The 10-year-old’s grandmother also witnessed the incident, and can be heard saying:
You can see that he doesn’t have any weapons on him. I raised up my grandbaby’s shirt. He don’t have anything on him. Take those handcuffs off of him.
According to witnesses, the handcuffs were eventually removed after about 15 minutes.
Chicago police have defended their actions, however, saying the officers ‘followed all of the rules and protocols’ when they detained the boy. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has said an internal investigation will also be conducted into the matter, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Supt. Johnson said:
The call came out as a young man 10-to 12-years-old that was passing out a gun and the description fully matched the individual that they stopped.
Keep in mind, this is difficult for an officer to tell right off the bat if you’re 10-years-old, 12-years-old [or] 14… So, they handcuffed the kid for safety reasons because he did match that description. They followed all the rules and protocols that we have in place. So, I’m not concerned about that at all.
Supt. Johnson did sympathise with the boy’s family.
I can only imagine the mother’s and grandmother’s anguish that that child had to go through that situation. So, we’re investigating it, just to ensure that everything was done properly.
The boy, who is in fourth-grade at school, said:
They put me in handcuffs. I was scared. I was crying.
They told me I escaped from juvenile and I had a gun. I said I didn’t escape from juvenile and I don’t have a gun… They handcuffed the wrong person.
Hopefully the situation can be resolved peacefully.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.