The Lansing Police Department in Michigan has released a statement after a viral video showed officers wrongly detaining a preteen. The viral video was posted on TikTok Thursday and has since garnered over 2 million views.
More Details Regarding The Michigan Teen’s Wrongful, Viral Arrest
As the viral TikTok video begins, viewers see a young, Black teen being held by his arm by a white police officer. The person recording the video can be heard explaining that the young man was “bringing out his trash.”
As the video continues, the officer is seen speaking with the teen. Then looks off-camera.
“I’m his dad — what’s the problem?” a man’s voice yells from off-camera.
Another person, who appears to be near the woman recording, affirms, “He was taking out his trash, yo.”
As the video continues, a second police car arrives on the scene. The male officer then escorts the teen over to his father. As a second female officer joins the group, the boy is seen to be handcuffed.
The conversation then appears to begin between the officers and the father, with the father seen visibly upset and raising his hands to his head. At that point, the female officer escorts the teen away from his father to the first police car. The boy is then placed in the backseat of the vehicle.
The camera returns to the male officer and the boy’s father, who is shaking his head in disbelief.
“But what did the kid do, though?” the male onlooker asks.
The father’s voice then becomes raised.
“You’re messing with my kid’s psychological man… this is a perfect kid!”
At this point, it appears that the officer has informed the father that his son matched the description of a suspect they were attempting to apprehend.
“That ain’t even him,” the onlooking man confirms.
As the father approaches the onlookers, he explains that he was “just washing the dishes” when he asked his son to take the garbage out.
“They traumatized my son, you know!”
As the camera returns to the police vehicles, a group of officers surround the teen and release him from the handcuffs. The boy is seen in tears.
Kid taking out trash being harassed by police. Father defending his son. Wrong person.
The Michigan Police Department Addresses The Viral Video Of The Wrongful Arrest
On Friday, the Lansing Police Department issued a statement regarding the viral video, adding that it wanted to provide “background information” on the “unfortunate misunderstanding.”
“On Thursday afternoon, our officers were investigating a string of Kia thefts, including a specific one reported on the 3600 block of W. Jolly Road with multiple suspects. A witness described a suspect as wearing neon shorts and a white shirt…”
Additionally, the statement explains that a responding officer saw a person matching the above description. However, when they attempted to approach the suspect, they fled “and ran west in to the nearby apartment complex.”
“A different officer was in the area and saw the young man pictured in the viral video wearing a very similar outfit and made contact with him. The initial officer was able to respond and clarify the young man in the video was not the suspect who fled earlier. Once this information was obtained, the young man was released and officers continued to search the area. We are including pictures of both individuals.”
The police department concluded its statement by explaining that “community relations” is its “top priority.”
“Community relations is a top priority for us as a department, from top-down. Our hope is we can put this unfortunate case of ‘wrong place, wrong time’ behind us and continue to represent the community that we serve.”
According to Facebook, the Lansing Police Department’s statement has garnered over 400 comments in response. Many users have expressed their disappointment in the officers’ actions.
One user wrote.
“Was the description saying it was a child? I’d like to see our officers get additional training on how to interact with kids, elderly or special needs citizens.”
A second user added.
“You needed the whole police department for this child?!”
A third user wrote.
“I hope this young man’s spirit is not broken and that he can recover from the trauma your department has inflicted on him.”
“You may be able to put this behind you, but that young man will live with this moment for the rest of his life. So will his father, who watched you do this to his son. Every single one of you should be wholly ashamed of yourselves.”
“Watched the whole video. I truly hope his parents file a lawsuit against everyone involved. He clearly LOOKS like a CHILD!!! This poor child is forever traumatized now because of your officer who unlawfully placed him in handcuffs. Your cops need more training. Better yet, fire him & everyone else.”
“If it was a mistake (and mistakes happen), then it should be a priority to send the officers back out to the house to apologize and talk to the young man. There’s time to do that, if there is the will. If community service is the goal, then this is part of that. A non-trivial part. Do it.”