A Grand Rapids, Michigan, mother is speaking out after a video was released showing officers holding a group of unarmed black teens, including her 14-year-old son, at gunpoint on the ground.
“Guys, get on the ground. Keep your hands out,” a Grand Rapids police officer tells a group of youths in the video. “Just follow our directions and we’ll be all right, OK?”
This March 24 exchange, which was caught on body camera, came after a report of a group of teenagers carrying a gun; however, police later learned these youths weren’t armed. A police spokesman said the officers’ actions followed protocol and displayed “professionalism … throughout the entire ordeal,” though the spokesman added that “it is unfortunate … the teens had to endure this.”
Shawndryka Moore, whose 14-year-old son was among the teens forced to the ground, told ABC News today that her son was confused and traumatized.
“A whole month later it still hurts,” Moore said. “The hurtful part is how badly this could have ended. … my son and others on the ground by people that’s supposed to protect them.”
The incident happened after Grand Rapids police responded to a report of 100 teenagers fighting, but police only found about 20 or 25 youths and no fight, Grand Rapids Police Public Information Officer Terry Dixon told ABC News today.
A citizen flagged down an officer at the scene and asked the officer if the police were looking for a group of teenagers with a gun, Dixon said. The citizen gave the officer a description of five or six teens; one teen allegedly dropped a revolver, picked it up and tucked it in his waistband, the citizen told police, according to Dixon. Police shared that information with other officers via radio, Dixon said.
About two blocks away from where the witness said he saw a teenager with a gun, an officer approached five boys, including some who appeared to match the descriptions given by the citizen.
The officer told the youths to get on the ground and waited for…