Black teens terrified by Minneapolis Park Police with guns
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Three black teenagers say they feared for their lives when a Minneapolis Park Police officer pulled a gun on them while responding to a bogus 911 report that they were armed.
The July 10 incident at Minnehaha Park drew widespread attention after a bystander recorded part of it and posted a video to Facebook that's been viewed over 2.8 million times.
The officers were responding to a female 911 caller who falsely reported that four teens were following her boyfriend and wielding knives and sticks. Park police released the four after finding they were unarmed and hearing witness accounts that contradicted the caller's story.
The department has since said the call was "misleading" and apologized to the boys.
At a news conference Monday called by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, 14-year-old Aden Aden said he and his friends were just trying to have fun when a white kid confronted them. Witnesses have corroborated that account.
"When I was at the park, I was just trying to have a good day with my friends," Aden said. "And this white kid came up to us saying racial slurs towards us, and when the cops came, they just pulled guns to our faces. And I felt like I was discriminated [against] and I felt like it was not supposed to happen, and I hope it never happens to anyone again."
Fourteen-year-old Suhaib Ahmed said the officers frightened them. "I was scared he was going to shoot me."
Police said in a news release last week that one of the officers "unholstered his firearm and pointed it in the general direction of the four suspects."
Three of the boys attended the news conference. A fourth did not attend due to a family emergency.