Update: The group of Somalian teens detained by Minnesota Park Police last week spoke out about being harassed, held at gunpoint and racially profiled by police. Eighth-grader Adam Guffe, 14-year-old Suhaib Ahmed and 13-year-old Abdijabar Ahmed told local news outlet KARE 11 they feared for their lives during their recent encounter with officers.
"I was at the park, I was just trying to have a good day with my friends,” Adam recalled. “This white kid just came up to us saying racial slurs toward us. When the cops came, they just put guns to our faces. I felt like I was discriminated [against]. I felt like this was not supposed to happen. I hope it never happens to anyone again."
In initial reports, the police claimed they didn't pull a gun out in the direction of the teens. However, as scrutiny mounted, the department admitted to pointing a gun in the direction of at least one teen.
“They pulled a gun in my face, and I was scared,” Suhaib said. “One was shaking, and I was scared that he was going to shoot me.”
The police department has hired an outside legal team to investigate the officers' actions. Minnehaha Falls Park has also formally apologized to the boys and their families, but the trauma of this incident will remain with them.
Abdijabar said he was scared and thought the incident would mark "his last day of this world."
Original story: Two young boys are changed forever after a run-in with Minnesota police prompted by a false 911 call.
Minneapolis Park Police reportedly pulled their guns when they confronted two teenage boys in Minnehaha Falls Park on Monday, July 9. According to CBS Minnesota, police responded to a 911 call claiming that at least four boys armed with sticks, knives and a gun were in the park.
Upon further investigation, police found no weapons on the teens. A fellow park goer, Brianna Lindell, captured the arrest in a now-viral video depicting the teens sitting on the ground in handcuffs in front of a police vehicle.
Lindell wrote in a caption accompanying the video that a white man allegedly harassed the two by brandishing a metal trash lid before the encounter with police.
“When my partner and I arrived, the kids were being harassed by a young white guy, who appeared to be around 17-years-old. He was spouting racial slurs at them and aggressing them with a metal trash can lid and saying he had a knife,” Lindell wrote.
The video has more than 2 million views, which shows one of the teens is shirtless. Lindell wrote, "My partner tossed him his shirt, and a cop jumped out of the squad car and started yelling at us that we were interfering with an arrest."“Cops just pulled guns on children,” Lindell said in the footage. “These kids are literally children. They can’t be more than like 12, 15-years-old. These kids are getting eaten alive by mosquitos, and they asked for their shirt and then they [police] yelled at my partner for trying to give a shirt to them.”
Police have admitted that the detainment was unnecessary, and an officer on the scene claimed the gun was not pointed in the teens' direction. As of this report, police have yet to verify the 911 caller's claims.
“We have serious questions about the validity of what was reported in the 911 call,” Chief Jason Ohotto said.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Superintendent Mary Merrill told media the board intends on rectifying the situation.
“We intend to make sure our young people are safe in our parks.” Merrill proclaimed.
The children were not charged or arrested.
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