Independent news has never been so important.

Did you know that you can get Democracy Now! delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our Daily News Digest today! Don't worry, we'll never share or sell your information.

Grand Rapids Police Under Fire for Stopping Young Black Boys at Gunpoint

HeadlineApr 24, 2017

In Michigan, the Grand Rapids Police Department is under fire after video surfaced showing police officers detaining a group of 12-to-14-year-old unarmed African-American boys at gunpoint, forcing them to lie on the pavement as the boys sobbed and said they didn’t want to die.

Police Officer: “Get on the ground! Keep your hands out!”

Boy 1: “What did we do?”

Police Officer: “Hey! Come over here! Keep your hands where I can see them, and get on the ground!”

Boy 1: “But what did I do?

Police Officer: “Get on the ground!”

Boy 2: “Get down!”

Boys: “[crying] What did we do?”

Police Officer: “We’ll give you directions, OK?”

Boy 1: “I do not want to die!”

“I do not want to die”—the words of one of the African-American boys who were stopped at gunpoint by Grand Rapids police officers Friday, while the boys were returning from playing basketball.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation