GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The parents of several minors held at gunpoint by Grand Rapids police officers after the force mistook them for possibly armed suspects appeared on CNN this week, speaking about their experience.
The March 24 incident has sparked a national outcry after the five kids, ranging in age from 12 to 14, were stopped by officers on their way back from a game of basketball at the Salvation Army Kroc Center.
Earlier in the day, there had been a fight at the facility and some of the minors matched the description of a suspect a witness described as armed with a revolver.
Police, meantime, are standing by their assertion that the officers were simply following protocol.
“The first thing that went through my mind was just fear. I was scared,” said Shawndryka Moore, one of the mothers who can be heard screaming in the background of body camera footage as her son is told to get to the ground. “I didn’t know what had happened. I was very scared. I thought my son was hurt. I thought he had been hurt by the police or something.”
“The officers always want you to understand their point, like their point is the greatest thing of all - and that’s not the truth, especially when you’re dealing with minors,” father Bomesa Sims told CNN.
During a recent city meeting, GRPD Chief David Rahinsky apologized for the confusion and offered an explanation to the families, but stood firm on his officer’s actions being the result of training and protocol.