Syracuse Police Review Actions of Officers After Child Accused of Stealing Chips

Police in Syracuse, New York, said on April 19 that they were reviewing an incident captured in a viral video in which officers placed a distressed black child into the back of a police vehicle after he was allegedly caught stealing a bag of chips.

The video, which was shared on social media, shows an officer holding the arms of the boy, who is crying and screaming, and moving him toward the police vehicle.

The person filming challenges police, saying the child looks too young to be treated in such a way. One of the officers tells the man that the child was caught stealing. The man, along with others who can be heard in the video, try to intervene, saying they will pay for the chips and the child should be let go.

In a statement on social media, police said the child, who was “suspected of larceny,” was not placed in handcuffs. “He was placed in the rear of a patrol unit where he was directly brought home. Officers met with the child’s father and no charges were filed.”

Police said the incident, including the officers’ actions and body-worn cameras, were being reviewed. Credit: Kenneth Jackson via Storyful

Video transcript

- What is y'all doing? What is y'all doing?

[CHILD SCREAMS/CRIES]

He look like a baby to me. Why you are-- why are you--

- That's what I'm doing.

- I don't know what you doing. I just see you snatch him up of the--

- You don't know.

- So what? So what's going on then?

- He's stealing stuff. If he breaks into your house and steals somethings--

- Nah, what, he stole a bag of chips? You gotta treat him like a whole cold-blooded [MUTED] killer?

- Keep walking, dude. You don't even know what you're talking about.

- Keep walking? I'll do that. I know what I just came up and see. I know what the [MUTED] I just came up and see.

- OK. What did you see?

- I see y'all snatching him off a bike like he a [MUTED] man.

- It wasn't him!

- And he saying it wasn't him! [MUTED] y'all doing?

- It's crazy.

[CHILD SCREAMING]

- How old's he? 10?

- What is y'all talking about, man?

- That's against the law.

- What [MUTED] y'all doing?

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- You cannot put that--

- What is a y'all doing? Take the [MUTED] kid. If he stole some chips, I'll pay for them. I'll pay for them. You don't even know where he lives!

[CHILD SCREAMING]

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

[CHILD SCREAMING]

- Y'all just throwing him in the [MUTED] car.

- That's what they do. They come here.

[CHILD SCREAMING]

- [MUTED] y'all doing? Leave him alone.

- Look, bro, it's all on camera. That's all we can do.

- He a kid!

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