The Boulder Police Department is conducting an internal investigation after officers detained a black man for picking up trash outside of his own residence.
According to The Daily Camera, police on Friday morning spotted the man picking up trash using a clamper behind a “private property” sign. Authorities say the man—who remains anonymous—told the officer he lives and works in the building and even provided identification, but was still detained for further questioning. The officer then called for backup, claiming the black man was uncooperative and unwilling to put down a blunt object (the trash clamper).
A video posted on Facebook by roommate Vanardo Merchant on Friday captured the confrontation. In it, the man tries to explain that he is unarmed and that he lives inside the building: “You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I’m picking up trash. I don’t have a weapon! This is a bucket, this is a clamp.”
His roommate can be heard yelling, “He’s picking up trash and you have your hand on your gun? Go home!”
When more officers arrive (eight in total), the man refuses to sit down, saying, “I’m not sitting down and you can’t make me. This is my property, this is my house, I live here.”
The first officer holstered his firearm after the man lay down the trash clamper.
The Daily Camera also reported there was a council meeting held allowing members to ask the police chief about the incident. When asked about police policy concerning drawn weapons, Police Chief Greg Testa said it was reasonable for officers to draw guns if they perceive a threat that may result in serious bodily injury or death.
“I can only assert that given the information that was there, that was why the number of officers arrived,” said Testa. I don’t want to make an assumption because an investigation is ongoing.”
“This is an extremely concerning issue, and one that we are taking very seriously,” added the police chief.
h/t Raw Story