Black Teen “Traumatized” by Lansing Police After Being Handcuffed While Taking out Trash

In August 2023, Lansing Police wrongfully handcuffed a teen outside his home. The officials have since released a statement about the traumatizing event.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Aug. 14 2023, Published 11:51 a.m. ET

The queen Beyoncé warned us on her phenomenal Renaissance album and tour that “America, America has a problem.” And one imperative problem many Black people in America, unfortunately, know all too well is being wrongfully accused and harassed by the police.

As cases like Tamir Rice and Breonna Taylor have proven, none of us are safe from police violence, not even when playing or simply sleeping in our homes.

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In August 2023, a TikTok user shared a video of another young Black king being harassed by his local officials.Thankfully, the teen in the video is alive. However, his experience was just as traumatizing as he was wrongfully arrested in what the police who arrested him are calling an “unfortunate misunderstanding.”

Keep reading to find out what happened.

A police officer speaking to a reporter during an arrest
Source: Getty Images
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Lansing Police handcuffed a Black teen after he took out the trash in his neighborhood.

On Aug. 11, 2023, a TikToker who goes by @careyann327 on the app posted a video of a Black teen male handcuffed outside his Lansing, Mich. neighborhood. The TikTok user recorded the teen walking with an officer as someone in the background of the video explained the teen “was taking out his trash” and wasn’t doing anything criminal while outside.

Soon after the police handcuffed the young man, his father came outside to see why his child was being arrested. The camera then turned to the man talking to the police and appearing to be rightfully upset by the ordeal. Meanwhile, the people who recorded the incident seemed just as confused and said the Lansing police were “wrong” to arrest the teen.

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The man continues defending his son, calling him “the perfect kid,” and can’t fathom why his son had to be the one who experienced the “trauma” Black people are susceptible to daily. The officer tried to defend his and his team’s actions, stating the teen fit the description of a suspect they were looking for in the same area.

“I’m just washing the dishes, and I said, ‘Son, go and take the garbage out,”’ the man explained to his neighbors as they recorded him. “That traumatized my son.”

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Following several more cops circling the teen’s neighborhood, they soon realized their grave error. After confirming the teen was innocent, the Lansing officers took the handcuffs off of him and tried to calm his father down. Sadly, the damage had already been done.

As his father continued yelling at the police, the teen was visibly disturbed by the ordeal and seemingly just wanted to go inside his home.

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Lansing Police officers released a statement amid the backlash they received on TikTok.

Watching the police wrongfully arrest a young, Black child was unbearable. I couldn’t imagine what may have been going through his mind as he was handcuffed while doing a chore. I wish I could’ve been surprised by what I saw, but I’m happy the video ended with everyone being safe and alive after the chaos.

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Underneath Carey’s footage of what happened, several TikTok users shared similar sentiments to mine. Many commented how disgusted they were to see the police arrest a baby who had nothing to do with the person they were looking for. Some even suggested the teen and his father take legal action against the police officers.

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“Bless his precious heart,” one user said of the child.

“This made me cry. Poor kid,” another shared.

“It’s time to sue that department and hold them accountable,” said a third user.

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The TikTok community also asked the user who recorded the initial video to provide an “update” on how the teen and his family were doing. Hours after the video circulated, the user shared a statement from Lansing Police regarding the video.

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In the statement, which is also on the station’s Facebook account, Lansing Police stated they “wanted to provide some background information on this unfortunate misunderstanding.” The officials explained that the area the teen lived in had a history of Kia car thefts and had “multiple suspects” on the teen’s block.

The officers explained that the teen they wrongfully handcuffed had a similar outfit to the suspect they were looking for — a white shirt with neon shorts. Once they noticed what the teen had on, they quickly arrested without looking for other traits, such as that even in the blurred images, the suspect had a darker skin tone than the Black teen.

Nonetheless, the police stated they didn’t regret taking action to “serve” their community and wanted to move past the traumatic events.

“Community relations is a top priority for us as a department, from the top down,” Lansing Police stated. “Our hope is we can put this unfortunate case of 'wrong place, wrong time' behind us and continue to represent the community we serve.”

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