A confrontation between police and a group of teens goes viral in Clayton County, Georgia and a community is outraged and demanding answers.
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**COMMUNITY ALERT** We’ve received multiple reports from Black News Alerts subscribers about the detainment of 5 teens in Clayton County, GA. Initial reports state that then teens were cutting through a neighborhood on their way to a convenience stores. Onlookers recorded this video and the community is demanding justice from @claytoncountyga police. If you have information or any details regarding this story, please send details to #email@example.com# #blacknews #claytoncounty #clayco #police
What We Know:
- Initially it has been unclear on whether or not the teens were walking from a nearby convenience store or shadowboxing. Local Atlanta NBC-affiliate WXIA reported the teens were shadowboxing near a convenience store in their neighborhood and then used a local short cut. Somehow or another, as the video begins in the middle of the confrontation, as the teens are standing on the grass with their hands on their heads, more than one officer has his gun pointed at them.
- On a new YouTube page, that appears to have been created today to tell their side of the story, Clayton County police released 17 minutes of the altercation, in which an officer asks the teens not to move and hold their hands up. He also asks why the store owner thinks that one of the teens had a gun. As a crowd forms, the officer calls for backup asking the teens to ignore the gathering crowd and pay attention to his commands so that no one gets hurt.
- In a statement, Clayton County police and their chief Kevin Roberts explained the reason for the stop. After viewing the store’s surveillance tape, police say they did see what looked like a gun. The teens admitted to an officer that it was a BB gun they had thrown away in the bushes that police say looked like a real gun. The teens were frisked and unarmed.
“Due to the allegation that the juveniles were in possession of a gun, the officer approached them with his duty weapon drawn and pointed at the juveniles. The officer lowered the weapon once the juveniles complied with the officer’s verbal commands to stop and show their hands.”
- Shanelle Williams is the bystander who recorded the video and put in on her Facebook page. She asked the police to be held accountable.“We’re saying, we would like to see revisions. And not just your revisions. We want you to give your community an opportunity to say, ‘this is how we want you to police us.’ I think that is the only thing that they can do as of right now.“What would have happened if the community didn’t show up and show out for them that day? … if one of those kids made the wrong move, what would have happened?” she asked.
- Williams is echoing the sentiments of Black Americans everywhere in such a time of sensitivity. The recent deaths of Atlanta’s Rayshard Brooks, Minneapolis’ George Floyd, Louisville’s Breonna Taylor and Georgia’s Ahmaud Arbery have caused protests to erupt nationwide, demanding change and reform in police departments. Atlanta Rapper T.I. joined one of the teens and his mother at a press conference that was held in Atlanta earlier. A local group of activists has planned a protest for Wednesday.
The Clayton County Police Department has released original body cam footage and a conversation that took place with local activists today.
Chief Roberts fields questions