12-Year-Old Wrongfully Detained By Lansing Police Speaks Out, Left ‘Shocked And Frightened’
The 12-year-old boy who was wrongfully detained by police while taking out the trash is speaking out about the “traumatic” experience.
Tashawn Bernard appeared on “Good Morning America” on Monday, August 15 with his parents and family attorney to recall his wrongful detainment last week after his father asked him to take out the trash.
“When it happened, I was really, like, shocked and frightened about like the situation, and how it happened,” Tashawn shared.
“This has been a very traumatic and emotional experience for him and his entire family,” family attorney Rico Neal told “GMA.”
The middle school student was taking out the trash in his apartment complex when he was surrounded by police and handcuffed in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. Tashawn’s father, Michael Bernard, says he asked his son to take out the trash and became concerned when his son didn’t return.
Upon looking out the window, he saw his son encircled by a swarm of cops.
“I saw police around him, so I dropped what I had in my hand … and rushed downstairs,” Bernard told “GMA.” “So I say, ‘why you have my son in handcuffs? What’s the problem?'”
Now viral video shows the 12-year-old in handcuffs and placed in the back of a police vehicle before cops realized their mistake. Many have expressed their outrage at the latest example of mistaken identity against a Black person.
Lansing, Michigan, police apologized after officers handcuffed a 12-year-old-boy while he was taking out the trash. Police say he matched the description of a suspected car thief in the area. pic.twitter.com/4Nk9EFcpxp
— CNN (@CNN) August 14, 2023
The Lansing police department released a statement saying cops were investigating a “string of Kia thefts, including a specific one reported on the 3600 block of W. Jolly Road with multiple suspects.” A witness to the robbery claimed the suspect was wearing “neon shorts and a white shirt” when they were spotted by an officer and ran into the apartment complex.
But Neal says there’s no way Tashawn should have been mixed up with the criminal at large since he had on a “light gray or a light bluish” shirt.
“I want justice for my son,” Bernard said, adding that “in this time and era in America, I am still scared for anything to happen to my son.”
“This has been a traumatic experience for Tashawn and his family,” Neal said. “This has been an experience that Tashawn and his family will live with for the rest of his life.”