Officer Responds To Report Of Armed Teens With Weapon Drawn In Tense Video

[Facebook/Screenshot/Public — User: Shanelle Saranita Williams]

Nicholas Elias Contributor
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A video posted Monday shows neighbors intervening after a police officer pulled his gun on teenagers in Clayton County, Georgia.

Police responded to a call from a convenience store owner who said the teens were stealing and waving a gun, according to a police report.

Shanelle Ladd, identified as the woman filming by CNN, can be heard screaming at the officer in the video, saying “Please, sir. They are kids. Why you got a gun out?” (RELATED: Police Officer Resigns After Allegedly Using Police Database To Find A Woman On Facebook)

A statement from the Clayton County Police Department stated that the officer drew his weapon because the teens allegedly had a gun. Once the teenagers complied with officer commands, the officer lowered his weapon until back-up could arrive. 

Bystanders, according to the statement, began immediately “yelling and agitating the situation” while the officer attempted to have a calm conversation with the teenagers about why he was there.

“Listen to me, so you don’t get hurt,” the officer says body camera footage released by the police, “Don’t move, don’t move please, I don’t want to hurt one of y’all.”

A frisk of the boys found no weapons, according to the police statement. “What just happened at the store?” the officer asks the teens in the body camera video, “Why does the guy think you have a gun?”

Surveillance video obtained by police from the store where the boys were first seen shows them waving what appears to be a handgun in the air, before ultimately throwing the weapon into the woods.

The teens advised the officers that the weapon was a BB gun, which closely resembled a semi-automatic pistol, according to the police statement.

In the body camera video released by police, the officers explains to the teens why carrying the BB gun was dangerous and could lead to them being in trouble. No charges were filed against the teenagers, per the police statement.

“I thought I was gonna die because I’ve seen all these black kids dying and to have myself in that, it was just crazy,” Kamari Moore, one of the teens involved, told reporters per CNN.

“He pulled his gun out and pointed it down at five 13-, 14-year-old children and they didn’t deserve that,” Ladd said to WSB-TV, “There were so many other ways to go about this situation, and he did not take those actions.”

“Every black child is not a suspect,” Ladd told CNN. “They need to be better and building and respecting the communities they are in and not working against us.”