Chicago’s Finest insists they followed all the proper protocols when handcuffing a black ten-year-old boy (who they of course called a “young man“) who had done nothing illegal.
Police kept the boy in handcuffs for around fifteen minutes last Friday.
Michael Thomas Jr. fit a description police had received of a black kid with a gun, police said. He was handcuffed for “safety reasons.”
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson defended the handcuffing of the child and remarked that he was not at all concerned by officers’ conduct in the situation.
The boy was stopped when he ran in fear from two police officers, as the unidentified officers explained at the scene.
“He’s scared; y’all killed his father,” replied someone.
The exchange has spent the week making the rounds on social media, captured by cellphone video.
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
“They need to apologize. He’s gonna be scarred for the rest of his life now,” said Thomas’ mother, Starr Ramsey. “Ten years old you get handcuffed? You scarred him for life.”
The fear that Thomas had has, in the short time since the boy’s arrest, already been shown to be justified.
Chicago police executed Maurice Granton Wednesday night, after what police reported was an “armed encounter” during a narcotics investigation. Granton’s family both denied the gun found at the scene was Granton’s and that he would be involved in drugs. He just hung out in the area, they said.
Police shot another fleeing suspect Wednesday who was taken to University of Chicago Hospital.
And the day before Thomas was handcuffed, a Cook County judge overseeing the trial of the police officer who killed Laquan McDonald decided that the officer’s lawyers couldn’t mention that shooting McDonald was approved by the higher-ups in the Chicago Police Department.
While police violence toward black people has changed the culture — inspiring the ‘take a knee’ protests, changed how parents raise children and changed what white people think they can call the cops for — the specter of police brutality is ever-present on the streets of Chicago.
Where running in fear from police is what gets you killed.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.