Neighbors Intervene After Cop Points Gun at Black Teens

Georgia police defend officer's actions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2020 6:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – Residents of Clayton County, Georgia are calling for the firing of a police officer who was filmed pulling a gun on five teenagers, leading to a tense confrontation with neighbors. In a video shared on Instagram, the officer can be seen pointing the gun at the Jonesboro teens as neighbors urge him not to shoot. "There were about 30 of us, telling the kids to remain calm and begging the officer to put his gun down," Shanelle Ladd, who pulled over and recorded part of the incident, tells CNN. Police defended the officer's actions, saying the video shows a "small portion of the entire incident," Fox News reports. Police said the officer was responding to a 911 call from a gas station clerk who said the boys tried stealing from the store and waved what appeared to be a gun in the parking lot.

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Police, who released body camera footage of the Monday incident, said the officers found a realistic BB gun one boy had thrown into bushes. Police said the teens were cooperative and were not handcuffed or charged. At a press conference Tuesday, residents called for changes to policing. "If one of those kids had made the wrong move, what would have happened?" Ladd asked. They were joined by rapper and community activist Clifford "TI" Harris: "Why don't we ever see little white kids being held a gunpoint? Period," he said, per 11Alive. "The constitution was written for all Americans except it seems like you only have to be a certain shade or a certain color to reap the benefits." (Read more Georgia stories.)

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