JONESBORO, Ga. (CBS46) -- Outraged Clayton County community members and parents are demanding police reform after an officer pointed a gun at five black teenagers Monday evening.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Flint Road after reports of male teenagers playing with a gun in a parking lot. When the officer arrived at the location a store clerk said he witnessed the teens take off through the woods. The officer located the teens moments later on Thomas Road.

An incident report details how the officer stopped the teens, ranging in age from 13 to 15, and approached them with his duty weapon drawn since those who called police said the juveniles were in possession of a gun.

Teens held at gunpoint by Clayton County police officer
Teens held at gunpoint by Clayton County Police

With his gun pointed at the teens, the officer commanded them to stop, put their hands up and slowly make their way closer to him.

The teens complied.

The officer goes on to say in the report that motorists exited their vehicles and bystanders swarmed the area as the teens stood with their hands up. Several questioned the officer while others wanted to ensure the boys would not be harmed.

"I informed some of the bystanders they didn't have nothing to do with the situation. I kept looking back and forth at the crowd and kept my service weapon at the low ready," the officer goes on in the report.

Once back up arrived on the scene, each of the teens were patted down in a search for weapons.

None of the teens were armed.

Police said the teens were asked about a gun. They said they had a BB gun, according to a media advisory from the Clayton County Police Department. Police said the teens then lead the officer to an area nearby where they had tossed a BB gun into the bushes. After speaking with the group about the dangers of playing with a BB gun that resembled a semi-automatic pistol, the officer said he released them to go home.

With video of the incident circulating social, community activists, rapper T.I. and family members of the teens called for action.

"They didn’t deserve that. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel safe," said Shanelle Williams at a press conference held Tuesday afternoon. "I feel more comfortable walking into a gang neighborhood than going to the cops. Changes need to be made today," added Williams who witnessed the incident.

Those changes include a demand for Police Chief Kevin Roberts to put in place updated deescalation policies.

"You fixing this when you want to is not acceptable," said another woman. "The problem with Clayton County is its use of force."

This incident is one of several where the country has witnessed countless black men, women, boys and girls lose their life in just a matter of seconds. With riots and demonstrations calling for justice of black lives lost at the hands of law enforcement, the community wanted to ensure their voices were heard.

"I thought I was going to die because I see all the black kids just dying, and to have myself in that, it was just crazy," said Kamari Moore at the press conference Tuesday.

Lashunda Jackson, the mother of one of the teens, said her disappointment is not only with the handling of the situation, but that she was not contacted by police.

“I haven’t had any police contact, nobody called me. I found out about the video this morning. My daughter all day way in Ohio sent me the video. She found out before I found out about this situation," explained Jackson. "I was just wondering, like, why wouldn’t the police contact the parents. They didn’t contact any parents.”

Jackson was not one of the parents at the scene Monday night, however, the incident report states parents were contacted.

Rapper T.I. lending his voice to the call for police reform stated he'd spoken to one of the young men.

"And I let him know that he should not allow them to trap him in fear,” said the Atlanta native who also spoke about the lack of similar incidences in white communities. "If the police have such a narrative and such influence from this 911 call, why don’t we ever see little white kids being held at gun point?," asked the rapper.

"You’re going to police our communities the same or you will suffer the consequences that’s happening right now across this nation," chimed in a local father.

CCPD incident report 1
CCPD incident report 2

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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