Last Friday morning, March 1st, Boulder police took aggressive action towards an unarmed black man. His crime: picking up trash from his yard. A squad of armed officers surrounded the man as he cleaned his property, many of them pointing guns at him.
According to a police report, the man was standing behind a private property sign. When the police officers approached him, they asked if he had permission to be on the land. But when he flashed a school ID badge to them, they reacted by detaining the man and brandishing their weapons. The man then yells in response to increasing police presence, “This is my property. I live here.”
In the below video, the unarmed black man is holding a bucket and a metal trash grabber. However, the police statement insists that he was “unwilling to put down a blunt weapon”. The man reacted strongly to this, asserting, “I don’t have a weapon”.
Threatening to Shoot for Picking Up Trash
He firmly called out the officers for their seemingly unwarranted attack. “You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me because I’m picking up trash”, he yelled to one officer. Throughout the 16 minutes of video, the man continually shouts expletives at the police, clearly infuriated with their presence.
Eventually, after several more officers arrived, one holding a shotgun, the man complied, placing his trash tools on the ground. Reacting to this, the police officer who first pulled a gun on him holstered his weapon. Despite this, there is no clear indication of the others doing the same in response.
In the end, the officers realized that it really was the man’s property and he had done nothing wrong. But after news of the aggressive confrontation spread, protestors filled a City Council meeting, holding their own trash grabbers to show their support for the man.
Police have placed the first officer on administrative leave and opened up an investigation. They have taken no action against any of the other officers who drew their guns and threatened the man.
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