Grand Rapids, MI — Outraged community leaders in Grand Rapids are demanding reform after five African American youths aged between 12 and 14 years were held at gunpoint — for no justifiable reason — as they walked home from playing basketball. Pressure on the department by The Grand Rapids Press through a Freedom of Information Act request finally forced them to release the body camera footage which is nothing short of horrifying.
As the Free Thought Project reported last week, original video of the incident, taken from far away, shows a number of Grand Rapids Police Department patrol cars descend on the scene, as officers point loaded weapons at the youths, order them to the ground, and eventually place them each in handcuffs — after a vague call to dispatch suggested a large fight in the area, and the possibility a teen was in possession of a gun.
None of the young teens in question were armed.
“Now they’re saying they don’t like the police,” Ikeshia Quinn, mother of two of the teens, told WOOD-TV — intimating the boys did not feel ambivalent toward law enforcement until this traumatic incident. “They don’t want to be involved with the police. They should’ve been approached differently because they are young boys. They had basketballs in their hands.”
As the body camera footage begins, Officer Caleb Johnson pulls up to the boys and immediately points his weapon at them and demands they get on the ground.
“Get on the ground!” Johnson tells the boys.
Three of the children were so confused that they did not immediately comply. Luckily they weren’t shot.