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'I Don't Have a Weapon!' Cops Confront Trash-Picker

Police pull a gun on a black man in Boulder
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2019 10:15 AM CST

(Newser) – If critics are right, Colorado police may have pulled a gun on a man for cleaning while black. A video has emerged of police officers in Boulder, Colorado facing a black man last Friday in the yard of a house, USA Today reports. "You're on my property with a gun in your hand threatening to shoot me because I'm picking up trash," says the man, who remains unidentified. "You're not going to get away with murder. Not today. I don't have a weapon. This is a bucket. This is a clamp." At one point, an officer tells the man to "just relax" and "drop the weapon," but the man responds, "You have a gun in your hand." The officer responds, "Yes I do because you're not listening." A man shooting the video also speaks up, telling the officers to "go home" and "take your hand off your gun."

Police say it began when an officer spotted a man "sitting in a partially enclosed patio area" behind a "Private Property" sign. Approached by the officer, the man handed over his student ID and said he worked and lived in the building, a Naropa University housing facility, but the officer found him unwilling to let go of a "blunt object" and called for backup, per the Daily Camera. The incident escalated at a Boulder City Council meeting Tuesday when audience members clacked trash grabbers in protest and Police Chief Greg Testa told council members his version of events, per the Denver Post. A police officer, who is white, has been placed on leave pending an internal investigation. The NAACP and other groups are planning to march Sunday in Boulder. (Read more racial profiling stories.)

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