A video has emerged showing Chicago police officers handcuffing and detaining a 10-year-old boy after receiving a call about a black male carrying a gun in the area.
NBC-5 News reported this week that Michael Thomas Jr, a fourth-grader, was handcuffed outside his grandmother’s home and leaned against the hood of a cop car as police questioned him about possessing a firearm. The boy’s family said they think it was a case of mistaken identity but are saddened and demanding answers about the incident.
“That’s our kid. They need to apologize,” Thomas Jr.’s mother, Starr Ramsey, told WMAQ-TV. “He’s going to be scared for the rest of his life now. I want answers. You can look at him and tell he’s not a teenager. Ten years old, you get handcuffed? You scarred him for life.”
Police Superintendent. Eddie Johnson said Wednesday (June 6) that police officers “followed all of the rules and protocols” when they handcuffed Thomas Jr., but an internal investigation will be conducted to make certain of it.
“The call came out as a young man 10-to 12 years old that was passing out a gun and the description fully matched the individual that they stopped,” Johnson said.
“Keep in mind, this is difficult for an officer to tell right off the bat if you’re 10-years-old, 12-years-old [or] 14…So, they handcuffed the kid for safety reasons because he did match that description. They followed all the rules and protocols that we have in place. So, I’m not concerned about that at all.”
However, Johnson sympathized with the boy’s family and said he has ordered an internal investigation to make doubly certain proper protocols were followed.
“I can only imagine the mother’s and grandmother’s anguish that that child had to go through that situation. So, we’re investigating it, just to ensure that everything was done properly,” the superintendent said.