Grand Rapids, MI – Two white policeman held five black teenagers – between ages 12 and 14 – at gunpoint as they were walking home from playing basketball. The children were not armed but were treated like criminals because they allegedly “fit the description”.
Officer Caleb Johnson pulled up to the boys and immediately drew his weapon. Not his pepper spray, his firearm.
Before he approached the children, he pulled his gun out.
“Get on the ground!,” Johnson yelled at the teenagers while gripping his gun and pointing it at them, ready to shoot.
All of the teens complied and got on the ground as instructed.
“Keep your hands where I can see them and get on the ground,” Johnson continued to force demands and scare the boys.
“Can you put the gun down?” one of the boys asked. At one moment, some of them believed that the cops may murder them.
Another youth is heard saying, “I do not want to die, bro.”
“We are not about to die we didn’t do nothing,” another of the boys says to try and comfort him.
“Don’t shoot me,” one of the boys pleads with the officers. Afterwards, they were handcuffed.
Police officers have killed so many unarmed black men and women that these young boys feared being the next victim.
As citizens of any city or town, one should feel safe and protected when law enforcement approaches them. However, it’s real life situations like this that shows how black people are wrongly accused and mishandled by policemen all across this country, countless amount of times.
They kept the boys for 10 minutes and then call their parents.
“We hate that it had to get to that point,” officer Troy Colegrove said. “We’re just doing our job because a lot of people out here have guns. We’re not saying that your kids have guns – we’re just doing our job,” Colegrove reiterated to the mother of an innocent child he just held at gunpoint.
Local NAACP president Cle Jackson told local NBC News affiliate, WOOD-TV, “If this is protocol, in terms of how you detain and treat teens and youth, then there probably needs to be a change in that protocol.”