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Video Of Syracuse Cops Detaining Black Boy, 8, For Stolen Chips Sparks Outrage

‘Y’all treating him like a coldblooded killer,’ says a bystander, who recorded the incident.

Social media is buzzing over a viral video showing police officers in Syracuse, N.Y., taking an 8-year-old Black boy into custody for allegedly stealing a bag of Doritos chips. Many are calling it a prime example of over-policing the Black community.

The four-minute Facebook video, posted on Sunday (April 17)  opens with three Syracuse police officers taking the boy, arms behind his back and crying, to a police car in a chaotic scene of bystanders yelling at the cops.

“What are y’all doing! He looks like a baby to me,” a bystander, apparently the Facebook account owner Kenneth Jackson, is heard protesting to the officers.

One of the officers responds that the child was accused of stealing something and asked how the protester would feel if the boy broke into his home and stole.

“What? A bag of chips. So y’all treat him like a cold-blooded [expletive] killer,” the outraged man responds.

The video, below, circulated widely across social media.

The video prompted the Syracuse Police Department to respond on Tuesday (April 19).

“We are aware of a video being shared on social media involving several of our Officers and juveniles accused of stealing from a store on the City's northside. The incident, including the Officers' actions and body-worn cameras, are being reviewed,” the statement posted on Facebook said.

“There is some misinformation involving this case. The 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.”

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The boy’s father, Anthony Weah, was out running errands Sunday when the police contacted him about the incident, Syracuse.com reported. He said the officers were friendly and his son was not physically harmed.

Weah recognized that his son may have done something wrong but was disturbed by what he saw in the video.

“The policeman, they are not children,” Weah, an Ethiopian immigrant said. “They are not boys, they’re men.”

Weah was grateful that Jackson captured the incident and protested the heavy-handed police response.

“It was just beyond me that they were actually treating this baby like this,” Jackson told Syracuse.com. “There are other ways to rectify this besides scare tactics. Now that’s just another youth that’s scarred by the system.”

Most of the reaction on social media calls out the cops for traumatizing the child in a situation that should have been handled differently.

Fewer people argued that the police did nothing wrong and that this incident wasn’t about race.

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