‘They traumatized that boy over a bag of chips!’ Cops criticized for handling of child stealing from store

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Cops in Syracuse, New York, stand accused of traumatizing a youngster after a video of an intervention went viral on social media. The incident is now subject to an internal affairs investigation.

The footage, which has been viewed nearly five million times on Twitter so far, purports to show officers placing the visibly upset boy, who is in the 8-10 age range, in the back of a police car for allegedly stealing a bag of potato chips.

An outraged bystander who filmed the encounter on his cell phone challenged the officers involved and even offered to pay for the item in question.

“He looks like a baby to me…he stole a bag of chips so you gotta treat him like a cold-blooded f——g killer?,” the man said, among other things, as he argued with the lawmen on the scene, who basically told him to stay out of it.

“I see you snatching him up off the bike like he’s a f——g grown-ass man — and he said it wasn’t him,” the man also declared.

One cop on site tried to make an analogy about the situation: “He’s stealing stuff. If he breaks into your house and steals something…”

Watch (*warning for language):

Police reform advocate Ben Walsh, the mayor of the city who successfully won the office running as an independent, told Syracuse.com that “The officer knew the child from prior interactions and explained to him that he was being taken home. The officers returned the child to his family and discussed the incident with his father before leaving without filing any charges.”

“The boy’s father…acknowledged what his son did was wrong. But he also takes issue with the way the officers handled the incident,” the news outlet added.

Syracuse PD took to Facebook to similarly clarify the situation after the firestorm:

“The incident, including the Officers’ actions and body-worn cameras, are being reviewed…There is some misinformation involving this case. The juvenile suspected of larceny was not placed in handcuffs. He was placed in the rear of a patrol unit where he was directly brought home. Officers met with the child’s father and no charges were filed.”

To some, the encounter might perhaps be reminiscent of the documentary TV series “Scared Straight” from back in the day.

As you would imagine, the condemnation of the police action, or overreaction, is widespread on social media, although there were some dissenters from that narrative:


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