Police in Grand Rapids, Michigan have come under fire after an alleged incident of aggression involving five young black boys aged 12-14-years-old.
According to MichiganLive.com, community leaders have decried a March 24th incident where the Grand Rapids Police Department got a 911 call in which the caller claimed there were 100 teens fighting at a basketball court located in the Salvation Army Kroc Center at 2500 S. Division Avenue in Grand Rapids.
When officers arrived at the scene, a fight was not going on. However, another call came in, which described five black boys who were walking home from the scene of the alleged fight reported earlier that day.
“But [we] were alerted by someone nearby that a group of younger, black male teens – one wearing red, and one wearing all black with a black backpack – had dropped a handgun and picked it back up,” a Grand Rapids Police Department spokesperson said in a statement.
However, police did not confirm later that the boys were in possession of a handgun when they were confronted forcefully at gunpoint. On April 6th, the NAACP, LINC UP and the Micah Center of Grand Rapids released a joint statement condemning the acts of the officers on March 24th.
“Collectively, we are calling for a change in Grand Rapids policing practices to ensure that no other children will unnecessarily go through the traumatic experience that these children did, and that our community as a whole is not subjected to this type of racism,” read the joint statement.
“We call on the police to work with the parents to ensure that the issues that are raised about this particular incident are addressed to the families’ satisfaction,” the statement also read.
The mothers of the boys have asked for the body camera footage of the officers who responded that day to be released to the public. This incident is currently still being investigated.