Police try to defend the arrest of boy, 12, who was handcuffed as he played with his cousin

A boy was handcuffed and detained by police in Grand Rapids, Mich., while he was simply playing normally with his cousin, his mother says. But officials maintain they had good reason

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11-year-old is handcuffed


A group of police officers in Michigan are being called out by members of the community after they chose to not only handcuff but also arrest a 12-year-old Black boy who was playing with a family member.

The Associated Press reports authorities in Grand Rapids, Mich., claim they saw what they believed to be a boy trying to violently attack a man with a wooden pole and jumped into action. But the child’s mother says the police were overzealous and are now exaggerating what happened after the fact.

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Carreion Baker’s mother says her son was innocently playing with his cousin and had no idea the police were charging towards him as he was running around his own area.

“I didn’t know cops were chasing me at the time because I was too busy chasing my cousin,” recalls Baker, who suddenly found himself surrounded by police.

“That’s when they jumped on me and handcuffed me, and then they put me in the car over there,” he told local station WXMI.


READ MORE: 11-year-old Black boys ‘traumatized’ after police handcuff them and hold them at gun point

The Grand Rapids Police Department took to Facebook to defend the actions of the officers during the incident.

“When the officer reached the youth on the ground, the officer placed his hands on the youth’s back and said, ‘Please stop.’ Not knowing the youth’s age or the circumstances of what was going on, the officer placed the youth in handcuffs,” the statement read.

“The youth then began to resist the officer,” it continued. “A large crowd already in the neighborhood observed this and became upset that a 12-year-old was being arrested. This required the assistance of additional officers until the circumstances surrounding the situation could get sorted out. While being taken to a police cruiser, the youth kicked officers.”

“My son was playing with one of his cousins, y’know? Chasing him down the street like he always do [sic],” the boy’s mother pushed back. “They started chasing my son. I’m telling, ‘Wait. Hold on. That’s his cousin. He’s playing,’ y’know, ‘He’s only 12.’ ”