With tensions high in the US after the death of George Floyd and resulting in a wave of protests against racial inequality, a Georgian cop is now in the news for pointing a gun at five black teenagers.
The incident that took place in Jonesboro, Georgia, however, saw a group of neighbours step in to stop any untoward incident from happening. The entire incident was shot by Shanelle Ladd who uploaded a clip on Facebook.
The kids were busy shadow boxing near a convenience store on Monday when the incident occurred. “We begged and pleaded for the officer to put his gun away. These little boys were no older than 15… Do they deserve to have a gun pulled out on them? No!!!!!!!! I am outraged!!” she wrote.
Voicing her concern, she added, “Police brutality is real! Police Harassment is real!!! Racism is real!! There are other ways to handle these types of situations. WE CAN'T BREATHEE!!”
The video has gone viral since being posted and has received around 9 lakh views on Facebook with 31,000 shares.
Netizens expressed their outrage over the incident. One wrote, “I'm noticing that if we surround our people we get in the line of fire. That slows the process.” Another mentioned, “This is what black lives have to go through every day. Are lives do MATTER.”
However, it turns out that the incident had another angle to it. A user clarified, “I have to give an update on the situation with the Clayton County Police Officer and the teenagers. Apparently they (the kids) had a BB gun that looked real. The store clerk called 911 and the police encountered them. He handled the situation professionally and tried to turn the situation into a teachable moment.”
Clearing its stand on the situation, the Clayton County Police Department said the clip was a “small part of the incident”. The police department claimed that the juveniles carried a BB gun.
According to a report in CNN, the Clayton County Police Department defended the officer's actions, saying he did “an excellent job” of talking to the teens and de-escalate the situation even as bystanders had started to agitate.