The father of a 12-year-old Black boy who was briefly detained by police while taking out the trash at his home in Lansing, Michigan, said Monday he cannot bring himself to accept an apology from the city’s police department.
According to CNN, Michael Bernard said, "I will never accept an apology. My son did not deserve to be treated the way they treat(ed) him. No way, no shape or form. Justice for my son. That’s all I want. Nothing else.”
Bernard, who had been washing dishes in the kitchen, became concerned when his son Tashawn Bernard didn’t come back from taking out the trash. He went outside to check on his son, only to find him in handcuffs.
Tashawn later told his father he was walking back to his apartment after placing the trash in the dumpster, when a police vehicle approached him. Tashawn said an officer got out of the vehicle and unholstered his gun.
The boy was then put in handcuffs, his father said, before being placed in the back of a police car.
Bernard said he asked the officer to explain why his son had been detained, but the officer said he would explain “in a little while.”
“I said, ‘No, I don’t want – I want you to tell me right now why my son is in handcuffs,’” Bernard recalled, adding that his son appeared to be scared. “Once he saw my presence, it gave him that comfort, his daddy is here.”
On Friday, the Lansing Police Department said their officers had been searching for a suspect in a string of car thefts. The boy, police said, was “wearing similar clothing and in the same apartment complex as an accused car thief who fled from officers on foot.”
According to police, a witness had described the car theft suspect as wearing neon shorts and a white shirt.
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