An unarmed 10 year old boy was handcuffed by the police. The video showed family pleading to uncuff the child, who is clearly frightened and later cries upon release.
Chicago police say they are investigating the incident that was caught on camera, showing the frightened 10-year-old — identified later as Michael Thomas Jr — quietly sitting on the hood of a car after police secured his arms behind his back. Police say they had received a call that a young boy they say matched his description had been “passing out a gun”.
“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,” an uncle, Victor, is heard saying in the video. “There was about five little black boys with all blue on.”
A 10-year-old boy was handcuffed after Chicago police received a call about a young black male with a gun in the area. Family members say the child was unarmed. pic.twitter.com/SG4uion8cA
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) June 7, 2018
Michael’s grandmother can also be heard in the video telling police that the 10-year-old was clearly not armed.
“You can see that he doesn’t have any weapons on him,” she said in the footage. “I raised up my grandbaby’s shirt. He don’t have anything on him. Take those handcuffs off of him.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson backed up his officers and their actions Wednesday, but said that he can understand the emotional trauma Michael’s mother and grandmother must have felt during the incident.
“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,” he said. “Now keep in mind, it is difficult for an officer to tell right off the bat if you’re 10 years old, 12 years old, 14 — that’s just difficult to do. So they handcuffed the kid for safety reasons because he did match that description.”
“They followed all the rules and protocols we have in place so I’m not concerned about that,” he continued. “The one thing I will say is this: Anytime you have to interact, for a law enforcement standpoint, with a child that young it’s difficult, you know. So, I can only imagine the mother’s and grandmother’s anguish that that child had to go through that situation.”