*Chicago police are under investigation after an incident caught on video showed a panic-stricken 10-year-old African American boy being handcuffed and detained by several officers in a case of mistaken identity.
According to Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, they received a call about a young black male with a gun in the area. According to NBC Chicago, officers detained fourth grader Michael Thomas Jr. as he played outside of his grandmother’s home because he “fit the description.”
As horrified bystanders and family members looked on, they placed Thomas in handcuffs and pushed him against the hood of a squad car while questioning him about possessing a firearm.
The boy’s uncle, Victor, confronted the officers at the scene and can be heard in cell phone footage questioning why his nephew had to be put in handcuffs.
“They’re telling them that someone called them saying that there is a 12-year-old black kid on a bike with all blue on had a gun,” the uncle is heard saying in the video. “There was about five little black boys with all blue on.”
Police also say Thomas ran from them briefly when they approached him.
Thomas’ grandmother says she also witnessed the scene. “You can see that he doesn’t have any weapons on him,” she said in the video. “I raised up my grandbaby’s shirt. He don’t have anything on him. Take those handcuffs off of him.”
Witnesses say it took about 15 minutes before the handcuffs were finally removed, but by then the emotional damage to the child’s psyche had already been done.
Video of the incident has gone viral. Watch below:
This is sickening.
10-yo black boy playing outside grandmother’s home was wrongfully detained and placed in handcuffs! Chicago police say it was a case of mistaken identity.
Poor kid was so scared that he wet his pants.
These cops need to be held responsible for this.
— Together we rise ?? (@Matsamon) June 7, 2018
Michael and his family speak to NBC Chicago below: