The incident was filmed and placed on social media. Area residents wonder why the police officer, who has not been identified, drew his weapon on the teenagers, who are standing still with their hands on their heads. Community activists want the officer and the authorities to be held accountable.
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If this community in Clayton County Georgia didn’t come out for them, I wonder if one of these little boys wouldn’t have made it home. It’s important that we as a community protect OUR CHILDREN! The kids were shadow boxing near the conventient store, playing with each other as kids do. The community begged the officer to put his gun away. Police Harassment is real!!! A gun before a taser on black CHILDREN?
Clifford Harris Jr., better known as rapper T.I., is also an outspoken activist. He chimed in on the troubling incident.
“Why don’t we ever see little white kids being held a gunpoint? Period. The Constitution was written for all Americans except it seems like you only have to be a certain shade or a certain color to reap the benefits of it,” T.I. said.
“Why are only people of color, young Black boys, young Black girls being gunned down at the hands of policemen and using excuses like BB guns, water guns? the Atlanta rapper asked. “There are little white boys that got real rifles that go hunting every day, every week with their grandparents and parents. They aren’t being held at gunpoint. Let’s not mix words and understand what we dealing with here.”
The police department stated that the police officer was responding to a call that someone at the 500 block of Flint River Road was waving a gun. A second call came in moments later stating that the teens were now in the parking lot, playing with a gun and fighting. The caller gave the 911 operator a description of the teens that were in the store and the direction they went.
The police department said, “Due to the allegation that the juveniles were in possession of a gun, the officer approached them with his duty weapon drawn and pointed at the juveniles. The officer lowered the weapon once the juveniles complied with the officer’s verbal commands to stop and show their hands.”
According to police, the officer began a “calm dialogue with the juveniles about why he was there and bystanders immediately began yelling and agitating the situation.” Police acknowledged that the teens were cooperative and when a back-up officer arrived, the teens were frisked. Police said no weapons were found.
Based on the account of the police officer, the officer returned to the store where the 911 call was placed and reviewed surveillance video. The video did show that the teens were playing and tossing what looked like a gun to one another; the teens told the police that it was a BB gun. The teens led the officer to where they tossed it into the bushes, where the officer verified that it was indeed a BB gun.
No charges were filed.
The Clayton County Police Department has posted the body cam video on its Facebook page: