Listen to this article here
Was a Black child arrested over a bag of chips by police? Not actually arrested, but he was temporarily detained by Syracuse police officers for allegedly stealing a snack from a convenience store on Sunday.
A Philadelphia resident captured the disturbing incident on video that shows a White, middle-aged police officer manhandling the 8-year-old. Four police officers in total were involved in the boy’s temporary detainment.
During the scuffle, the 8-year-old Black child could be heard screaming in fear of being arrested at the top of his lungs.
The male resident filming the child’s arrest even offers to pay for the bag of chips. His name is Kenneth Jackson. ?
The Exchange between the police officer and resident filming the detainment of an 8-year-old Black child
“What ya’ll doing?” the man asked.
“Guess! Take a guess what I’m doing,” the police officer said.
“He looks like a baby to me. I don’t know what you’re doing. So what’s going on then?” the man replied.
“He’s stealing stuff. If he breaks into your house…” another officer said before being cut off.
“Nah, man! What? He stole a bag of chips, so you gotta treat him like a cold-blooded f**king criminal?” the person filming responded in disbelief.
“Keep walking, dude. You don’t even know what you’re talking about,” one officer replied.
“I know what I just came up and seen,” the man rebutted. “I know what I just came up and seen.”
“I see you snatching him up the butt like he’s a grown-ass man – and he said it wasn’t him.”
A security camera caught the 8-year-old stealing the bag of chips from the convenience store, valued at no more than three dollars.
“If he stole some chips, I’ll pay for them. I’ll pay for them. Leave him alone. He’s a kid”, the man said assertively.
Another kid, presumably his friend, can be heard screaming: “It wasn’t even him.”
?After the eight-year-old child was placed in the police car, you could still hear him screaming in terror. ?
The Syracuse Police Department recently made a statement acknowledging the video and what took place shortly after the child was apprehended. ?
We (SPD) are aware of a video being shared on social media involving several of our officers in juveniles accused of stealing from a store on the city’s Northside. The incident, involving the officers’ actions and body-worn cameras, are being reviewed. There is some misinformation involving this case. A juvenile suspected of larceny was not placed in handcuffs. He was placed in the rear of a patrol unit, where he was directly brought home. Officers met with the child’s father, and no charges were filed.
Nevertheless, the video has been shared far and wide?across social media with plenty of disapproval from the public on how the Syracuse Police Department handled this situation. ??
One tweet read: “Oh OK. So y’all pull a child off his bike, manhandled him and placed him in a car (abduction) as he sobbed, effectively traumatizing him over an alleged death of a two dollar food item. But there were no handcuffs so it’s fine.”??
Another tweet read: hey, Syracuse Police Department — if you ever wondered why some people (though not me) are demanding we defund the police, this is why. There has to be a better way of handling this. ???
The father of the child, Anthony Weah, confirmed that the police did speak with him following the return of his son and the incident, but also that he plans to file a complaint?.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh also chimed in: “What occurred demonstrates the continuing need for the city to provide support to our children and families and to invest in alternative response options to assist our officers,” the Mayor stated.
A Black Author’s Thoughts:
What could have been a teachable moment turned into a traumatizing experience for another Black child in America.
The police officers could have told the young man that they were taking him home to notify his parents of what he had done prior to detaining him in the back of the patrol car.
They could’ve done this before the 8-year-old thought he was being arrested and going to be booked in the general population with grown-*ss men.
The police should have let the parents choose the punishment for their son’s alleged actions before detaining this screaming and terrified Black child.
Lastly, placing a Black child or temporarily detaining them without their parents’ awareness is reminiscent of Black children being snatched into slavery. ?
Hence, this child and many in the Black community are equally traumatized after watching this child be placed in the back of a police car.