A father's apparent misinterpretation of a crime scene traffic redirection resulted in a horrible outcome for his 10-year-old son, who was detained at gunpoint and shackled for no cause. Body camera video published this week demonstrates how rapidly things can spiral out of control when interacting with officers – much more so for young melanin people.
Benjamin Whitfield, 10, and his father were on their way to the mall on the day he was traumatised by police. They were not guilty of any crime and had caused no damage to anybody. When they arrived at the mall, police were conducting an investigation after a gunshot and diverting traffic in a different route than usual.
Whitfield's father probably drove in the wrong way owing to a simple misunderstanding, resulting in a police chase and eventual stop. Rather than just inform the father that he was going in the wrong direction, cops held the fifth-grader and his father at gunpoint and forced them out of the vehicle.
Benjamin is afraid, as seen by the body camera video when a cop points his weapon at him. As a Pittsfield Township Police Officer yelled directions, the small youngster shook his hands and did everything he could to obey.
The officer's attempts to pacify the little kid were useless since it is hard to remain calm when police are handcuffing you - much more so as a youngster. Benjamin's parents informed FOX 2 that their son has not regained his composure almost seven months after this incident occurred.
"Benjamin was always a decent child in my household. He was always a basketball fanatic. He really does not want to do an excessive amount of work. "All he wants to do is hang around at home and play games," his mother, Makia Dixson, said.
The family has subsequently engaged an attorney, Dionne Webster-Cox, who is suing the department for how the 10-year-old was handled.
On Tuesday, family members and friends staged a news conference and demonstration to announce the case and express their sentiments.
"What transpired on April 16, 2021, was a farce," Cox said. "What transpired on April 16, 2021, sickens me."
"Whenever he sees the cops, he becomes fearful," his mother said.
FOX 2 revealed the discrepancies between Melanin and palm-coloured youngsters in their study, with frightening statistics. According to statistics from the Sentencing Project, although melanin children make up 15% of the country's population, they make up 40% of children in juvenile detention.
In Michigan, that number skyrockets, with melanin children five times as likely as White children to be taken into care.
Dr Sabrina Jackson, a clinical therapist, told FOX 2 that circumstances like the one that occurred to Benjamin traumatise young children, and this trauma may last a lifetime.
"The term 'trauma' is also used to refer to a wound. These youngsters sustain injuries," Jackson said. "You must begin providing children with opportunity to see good interactions with police, as there are some."
The video below depicts what it's like to visit the mall with your father in a police state.