A viral video of Black children being handcuffed and detained by Minneapolis Park Police has resulted in outrage after it was revealed a white couple falsely reported the kids were armed and dangerous.
On Monday night, the park police were called to Minnehaha Falls Park when a 911 caller reported four teens with knives and one teen with a gun in his backpack. When police arrived and detained the children, they found no weapons, reported WCCO-TV.
What’s more, a witness at the park took videos and detailed the situation as they saw. According to witness Brianna Lindell, a police officer pointed his gun at the kids as soon as he arrived and did not allow the boys to put on their shirts while they were being held on the ground.
Lindell’s video was posted to Facebook, where it was viewed more than 900,000 times.
In response to the incident, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is contracting an independent investigative agency to make sure all of the park board’s policies and procedures were followed.
“The 911 caller reported four males holding knives and sticks and provided detailed descriptions of the four suspects,” Park Police Chief Jason Ohotto told WCCO-TV. “Additional information provided by the caller stated one of the suspects had a gun in a backpack.”
Ohotoo says officers responded quickly after the caller claimed her boyfriend was being assaulted by the boys.
While the caller claimed her boyfriend was being assaulted, Lindell said it was actually the woman’s boyfriend who was racially harassing the teens.
“The kids were being harassed by a young white guy, who appeared to be around 17 years old,” Lindell wrote. “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."
According to Chief Ohotto, the teens, two 13-year-olds, a 14-year-old and 15-year-old, were released when no weapons were found.
“One park police officer did un-holster his firearm and point it in the general direction of the four suspects,” Ohotto told WCCO-TV.
Police were unable to find or contact the 911 caller to validate her story and are investigating the call as filing a false police report, a misdemeanor level criminal offense in Minnesota.
“I think the details of the 911 call describing knives and guns are what we need to investigate and get to the bottom of,” Ohotto told WCCO-TV.
(Photo: WCCO-TV / Brianna Lindell / Facebook)
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