Tensions rise as body cam video shows Michigan Police officer pulling his gun and pointing the firearm at 5 unarmed kids. According to reports, the young boys were going home after playing basket ball at a Grand Rapids recreation center last month when the incident occurred.
Officers had allegedly received reports of a fight in the area that involved a gun and the boys fit the description of the people involved. “Guys, get on the ground,” said one of the officers, Caleb Johnson, in the video of the March 24 incident, which was released over the weekend.
Police Chief David Rahinsky apologized to the families, but said his officers acted professionally. However, parents and community leaders are calling for reform saying the officers went too far.
As the boys were complying with orders, Shawndryka Moore, the mother of one of the boys can be heard crying outside as officer Johnson tells her to get back inside her home.
“Can you please put the gun down?” one of the boys asked.
“I do not want to die, Bro,” said another.
“Calm down, calm down, it’ll be all right,” Johnson said as another squad car arrived. “They’ll give you directions, OK?”
After approximately 10 minutes, no weapons were recovered and the boys waited in the back of police cruisers.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean no disrespect, but you all have to understand that’s my baby,” said Moore.
“We don’t deal with police,” she said. “I don’t have charges. We don’t do this. All this stuff that goes on in this world — I worry about my kids every day. That’s why I don’t let them go anywhere.”
The video also shows Johnson and another officer, Troy Colegrove, as they spoke with the parents of another boy.
“We hate that it had to get to that point,” 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.”
“You all didn’t see a gun but y’all pulled guns on my kid,” one mother says.
“What if one of our babies had made the wrong move?” said Shawndryka Moore, the mother of one of the boys. “And they wouldn’t be here with us . . . would you be OK? Would it be proper protocol then?”
After telling them that “no one got hurt,” the officer says the boys were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The father corrects him, and says they were just playing basketball.
“Right place at the wrong time,” the father responded.