The incident, captured on a cell phone, showed Michael Thomas Jr. frightened for his life as he was being handcuffed by the police. Authorities say they were looking for a boy around 10-12 years old who reportedly had a gun on him, and Thomas allegedly fit the suspect’s physical description, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Thomas reportedly ran away from the cops before they got a hold of him. Still, Johnson defends the way in which the incident was handled because, according to him, it was done correctly. “The call came out as a young man 10 to 12 years old that was passing out a gun and the description fully matched the individual that they stopped,” he said.
“Keep in mind, this is difficult for an officer to tell right off the bat if you’re 10 years old, 12 years old [or] 14…So, they handcuffed the kid for safety reasons because he did match that description,” he continued. “They followed all the rules and protocols that we have in place. So, I’m not concerned about that at all.”
Thomas was shaken by the event. “They put me in handcuffs. I was scared. I was crying,” he said. “They told me I escaped from juvenile and I had a gun. I said I didn’t escape from juvenile and I don’t have a gun…They handcuffed the wrong person.”
The child’s mother, Starr Ramsey, told NBC News 5 that authorities should apologize to him because what he endured was traumatizing. “They need to apologize. He’s gonna be scarred for the rest of his life now,” she said. “Anything can happen. We might need him to call the police. And he’s gonna be too afraid to even call.”