A Black Chicago Police Superintendent is speaking out in support of city police that mistook a 10-year-old for a suspect and handcuffed him.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the officers “followed all of the rules and protocols.”
“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,” Johnson said on Wednesday at a press conference.
However, he did express some empathy towards the young’s boy family for the ordeal.
“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.
Last week, cell phone video surfaced of CPD cops handcuffing a terrified 10-year-old, Michael Thomas Jr., after they got calls about a boy, between the ages of 10-12, that was dressed in blue and carrying a gun in the area.
WMAQ-TV reported that Thomas initially ran away as they approached him, which police claim promoted them to cuff him and hold him against the police car, while they questioned him.
They didn’t find a weapon on the young boy.
Looking at the video, Michael’s uncle Victor, who confronted the officers, asked why his nephew was in cuffs in the first place.
“They’re telling them that someone called them saying that there is a 12-year-old black kid on a bike with all blue on had a gun,” the uncle says in the video.
“There was about five little Black boys with all blue on,” he added.
Despite CPD defending their actions, Thomas’ mother is clear: Her child, who was completely innocent, deserves a public apology.
“That’s our kid. They need to apologize,” Starr Ramsey recently told WMAQ.
“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.”
Thomas also admitted to being traumatized.
“They put me in handcuffs. I was scared. I was crying,” the young boy stressed.
“They told me I escaped from juvenile and I had a gun. I said I didn’t escape from juvenile and I don’t have a gun…They handcuffed the wrong person.”
CPD claims they plan on reaching out to Thomas’ family.