United States law enforcement just can’t seem to get it together. Police officers across the nation are just making one egregious “mistake” after another.
A 10-year-old black New Jersey boy named Legend Preston was allegedly chased by armed police who mistook him for an adult robbery suspect, according to Mic.
Preston was reportedly playing basketball in his neighborhood in Newark when his ball rolled into the street. He encountered the officers as he was running to retrieve his ball.
"Some police started coming this way with guns pointed at me, and then I ran into the backyard," Preston told local reporters.
In the moment, Preston assumed the cops were after him because they thought he rolled his ball into the street intentionally. Neighbors and witnesses had to intervene to let the officers know that their “suspect” was just a little boy.
“He's only 10 years old, how you all chasing him? He's only a kid. I'm like, 'that's messed up'," witness Jackie Kelly reportedly said.
The boy’s mother, Patisha Solomon, posted a video on Facebook of her sobbing son detailing what happened to him and how it made him feel “nervous” because “they tried to shoot” him.
“My fun loving child is forever changed!!!” she wrote in the caption accompanying the video.
She also said that neighbors made a “human shield” to protect her son from the officers. As a result of the incident, Preston is reportedly terrified to play outside.
The officers claimed that they never pointed any guns when they pursued the child, but witnesses maintain that they did.
Regardless of whether they pointed guns or not, the incident still raises questions of how a young child with short hair was mistaken for a 20-year-old grown man with dreadlocks.
It also doesn’t excuse the fact that the officers offered no apology to Preston or his family for the mistake, according to his mother.
Any child would be terrified and traumatized by cops chasing after him for no apparent reason, even if there was no gun in sight as the officers claim.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters