The father of a 12-year-old Black boy in Lansing, Michigan, expressed his refusal to accept the apology from the city’s police department after his son was briefly detained while taking out the trash. Michael Bernard stated that his son did not deserve to be treated in such a manner and that justice is all he seeks.
Bernard had been washing dishes when he noticed that his son, Tashawn, had not returned after taking out the trash. Concerned, he went outside to check on him and discovered that Tashawn was handcuffed. Tashawn later recounted that as he was walking back to his apartment after disposing of the trash, a police vehicle approached him. An officer emerged from the vehicle with his gun unholstered. The boy was then handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.
Bernard demanded an explanation from the officer, but the officer deferred his response. Eventually, the officer informed Bernard that he would explain the situation later. The presence of Tashawn’s father provided him with comfort. A video capturing the incident went viral on social media.
According to the Lansing Police Department, their officers were searching for a car theft suspect in the area. Tashawn matched the description of the suspect, who reportedly wore neon shorts and a white shirt. However, one of the family’s attorneys mentioned that Tashawn was wearing a light grey or light bluish shirt and different shoes.
The Lansing Police Department issued an apology to the Bernard family. Lansing Mayor Andy Schor also extended his apologies and offered support to the family. However, the family’s attorney emphasized the importance of accountability for the officers involved instead of just an apology.
The family’s attorneys are currently investigating the incident to determine whether they will pursue legal action against the city. They aim to ensure that Tashawn receives justice for the trauma he experienced.
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