Police point gun at Black teens, arrest them after white couple lies about them having weapons
Earlier this month, local Minnesota police received a call about four Black children wielding knives and sticks at a park. Right after, police came to the scene and pulled their guns on the children as bystanders stood by. The police detained the children and later released them as there were no weapons. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is now reviewing the park’s policies and the validity of the initial 911 call.
Brianna Lindell, a witness to the scene, recorded the now-viral video of local Minnesota police pulling guns on the four Black kids. “When my partner and I arrived, the kids were being harassed by a young white guy, who appeared to be around 17-years-old,” She shared on Facebook. “He was spouting racial slurs at them and aggressing them with a metal trash can lid and saying he had a knife.”
A girl with him was on her phone, I’m assuming with police. Some people near by approached and seemed to deescalate the situation. We walked further and heard shouting and when we came back around we saw a squad car. Two of the children were handcuffed and in front of the squad car. One was begging for his shirt on the ground because he was being bitten by mosquitos. My partner tossed him his shirt and a cop jumped out of the squad car and started yelling at us that we were interfering with an arrest. I asked the cop why he was arresting the kids as they’d done nothing wrong and he said they had received a call that the kids had a gun. We were approached by the people who had been deescalating earlier who told us that both cops had jumped out of their cars, guns already drawn, with the guns right in the children’s faces. The family was also black and the mother said her and her son had ran and hid when the police arrived because they were waving their guns around. Her little boy kept asking if they were going to be arrested too.
“I was at the park I was just trying to have a good day with my friends,” Adam Guffe, one of the detained kids, shared with the Root. “This white kid just came up to us saying racial slurs toward us. When the cops came, they just put guns to our faces. I felt like I was discriminated [against]. I felt like this was not supposed to happen. I hope it never happens to anyone again.”
“The 911 caller reported four males holding knives and sticks and provided detailed descriptions of the four suspects,” said Park Police Chief Jason Ohotoo. “Additional information provided by the caller stated one of the suspects had a gun in a backpack.”
The caller urged police to come quickly as her boyfriend was being assaulted by four Black teens who were carrying weapons.
“No weapons were found,” Ohotto said. “The incident and the validity of the 911 call are under investigation.”
Ohotto says one of the officers did point his gun at the four children.
Multiple bystanders say they saw a white teenager shout racial slurs at the Black teens. He claimed he had a gun. As the situation was de-escalating, the white teenager left with his girlfriend, who had made a prior 911 call about a false assault.
The Minnesota Council on Islamic Relations (CAIR) held a press conference to share the boys’ side of the story.
14-year-old Suhaib Ahmed said, “They pulled a gun in my face, and I was scared. One was shaking and I was scared that he was going to shoot me.”
“I was scared. I thought that would be my last day of the world,” said 13-year-old Abdijabar Ahmed.
The white aggressors have not been located as of yet.
Some recount the parallel between the incident and racial terror of four Black Somali boys in the park and 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot for playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park.