A community in Pittsfield, Michigan held a “Black Boys Matter” protest Tuesday demanding change after a 11-year-old boy was held at gunpoint and handcuffed by police officers.
The incident, which was captured by bodycam, took place on April 16 when police tried to initiate a stop on a car the boy’s father was driving. According to police, they attempted to stop the vehicle because of a recent shooting at a nearby mall but the driver did not pull over due to outstanding warrants.
The boy’s father led officers on a high-speed chase with him still in the car. The chase ended in an open mall parking lot in Ypsilanti Township. Guns were pointed at the 11-year-old when he exited the car, and he was put in handcuffs for almost two minutes.
The boy’s mother, Makia Dixson, said her son hasn’t been the same since his interaction with police that day.
“It’s been hard. Every time he sees the police he gets scared. I told him that not all of them are bad. I try to talk to him as much as I can about it. He’s to the point now where he doesn’t talk about it with me. He just shuts it down,” Dixson told Fox 2 News.
Police say the way the situation was handled was unavoidable and that guns were drawn because they had to treat the child as a shooting suspect.
The family filed a lawsuit against the officer who arrested the child. That lawsuit is going through the court system.