Police in Frisco, Texas held a Black couple at gunpoint and handcuffed their son earlier this month after mistyping their car’s license plate into their system, leading them to falsely believe the car the family was driving was stolen.
The incident occurred on July 23 on the Dallas North Tollway as the family drove to a basketball tournament. While running the car’s license plate, officers mistakenly told their system the plate was from Arizona. In reality, the family’s car had an Arkansas license plate, leading the system to tell the officers the car was stolen, the Frisco Police Department said in a statement.
Body cam footage shows an officer holding the family at gunpoint. Officers ordered the family to show their hands, and commanded the driver to exit the car, face away from the officers, lift up her shirt while spinning to reveal her waistband, and walk backwards.
The woman repeatedly told officers the car belonged to her and even clarified she’s from Arkansas, not Arizona, body cam footage from another office shows. The woman became increasingly concerned after seeing officers handcuff her son.
“Please don’t let them do that to my baby, this is very traumatizing,” she cried. “Why is my baby in cuffs? What are you all doing? Do not treat my baby this way.”
After officers realized their mistake, they acknowledged it to the family.
“This was an honest mistake,” an officer told one of the boys in the car. Another took responsibility while speaking to the parents: “That’s on me.”
“We made a mistake,” Frisco Police Chief David Shilson said in the department’s later statement. “Our department will not hide from its mistakes. “Instead, we will learn from them.”
Civil rights attorney David Henderson told The Dallas Morning News he believes officers profiled the family and violated their constitutional rights.
“In cases I’ve seen involving people of color who have a license to carry, as soon as they alert the police to the fact that they have a weapon, the police change drastically in terms of how they deal with them,” he said.
Source : Business Insider