After three Black teenagers were handcuffed for selling waters without a license along the National Mall in the District of Columbia, a D.C. councilmember is speaking out condemning the officers that arrested the children, reports Think Progress.
Councilman Charles Allen, the head of the council’s public safety committee, issued a letter claiming that the actions of the plainclothes U.S. Park Police officers were racially-charged and unnecessary.
“While I understand the need to maintain consistency in permitted actions, I do not understand why the enforcement cannot take place with uniformed personnel and actions less severe than handcuffing individuals suspected of the sales,” wrote Allen in the letter, according to the source. “I can’t help but think how the reaction by these same officers might have varied if different children had set up a quaint hand-painted lemonade stand in the same spot.”
Think Progress reports that U.S. Park Police Sgt. Anna Rose says the boys were handcuffed for safety measures. The concept of “fear” seems to be a common excuse when police officials make uncalculated and brash decisions in many of their interactions with African Americans.
The incident sparked outrage amongst individuals on social media; many of whom claiming that if the teens were White there never would have been an issue.
The teenagers, whose ages ranged from 16 to 17, were later released and not charged.
SOURCE: Think Progress