Clayton County police defend officer's actions after teens detained at gunpoint
JONESBORO, Ga. - The Clayton County Police Department is at the center of controversy after one of its officers pulled a gun on a group of teens. It happened in Jonesboro Monday. Video of the incident has gone viral, but police say it doesn't tell the whole story.
Shanelle Ladd recorded the video of the unidentified officer seen pointing his gun at five teens who have their hands raised over their heads.
Adult bystanders can be heard off-camera yelling at the officer and demanding to know why the cop is pointing a gun at the juveniles.
Clayton police officials say Ladd's video doesn't give a full account of what transpired. Tuesday, the department issued a statement detailing the incident and provided other information they say support the officer's actions, including two 911 recordings in which a store clerk claimed the teens had come to his convenience store and were attempting to steal. He said the kids were fighting in the store parking lot and that one of them was waving a gun.
Police officials say that due to the allegation that the teens were armed, the officer responding to a call of armed teenagers approached them with his service weapon drawn. They claim the officer lowered his gun once the teens complied with his commands.
Responding officers checked the teens for weapons and none were found in their possession. The teens returned to the convenience store with police.
Officers reviewed store surveillance video and said the footage shows three of the teens handling a gun.
The teens were questioned by police, reportedly admitted they had been in possession of a BB gun and showed officers where they had tossed it in some bushes.
Officials released images of the gun they said the teens were displaying when the store clerk called 911.
The kids were turned over to their parents and no charges were filed.
Outraged community activists joined the teens and their parents at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. They tell FOX 5 they met with Clayton Police Chief Kevin Roberts about the incident. They want a review of the department's training and policies and say they plan to rally in Clayton County on Wednesday for police reform.