After three Black teenagers were handcuffed for selling water without a license on the National Mall in the nation’s capital, a District of Columbia councilmember is condemning the officers for the arrests, Think Progress reports.
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,” Allen wrote, 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 reported that U.S. Park Police Sgt. Anna Rose said 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 outlet stated.
Many expressed outrage on social media. Scores of people said if the teens were White there never would have been an issue.
The teenagers, whose ages ranged from 16 to 17, were not charged and later released.
SOURCE: Think Progress