Photo: Ravenna Police Department
  /  09.07.2020

On Aug. 13, a Black man was placed in handcuffs after a woman called 911 to falsely report that he was waving a gun around while sitting in his car, although he was just talking on his cellphone.

Darren Cooper was in Ravenna, Ohio for a training last month, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. He arrived early and decided to sit in his car while he talked on the phone and drank tea. A few moments later, cops pulled into the parking lot. Once the fourth cop car arrived, some of the officers came up to his car yelling, “Put your hands up!”

A woman from a dentist office across the street called 911 and said that Cooper was in his car waving a gun around. “I really believe he was holding a pistol,” she said during the call. “I’m pretty darn sure it’s a pistol.”

Cooper said he didn’t understand how the woman said she saw a gun if she was across the street. She also told authorities that he was in a black Mustang, but his car was actually dark grey. “But if you don’t know the exact color of my vehicle, how do you know I had a gun?” Cooper questioned. 

Officers searched the car and did not find a weapon. They apologized to Cooper and left the scene.

“I am happy to be able to share this story because my wife almost lost a husband, and my kids almost lost their father, over someone who thought I had a gun, but it was my iPhone, and the person did not have the correct color of my car,” Cooper told the outlet. “When someone’s life is on the line, as mine clearly was, attention to detail is of the utmost importance.”

Capt. Jake Smallfield reviewed the videos of the incident and said that the officers and Cooper were professional. He also said that they have to check on tips where guns are involved. “We want people to tell us if they see, or in this case, if they feel that they see somebody with a gun. We will, of course, investigate all those complaints,” Smallfield said.

“We would not in any way try to discourage people from calling us with tips such as that,” Smallfield continued. “You know, we teach it in school, if you see something, say something. We rely heavily on tips.”

Cooper is now calling for the woman who made the false 911 call to be charged. Watch the video below and let us know what you think.


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