Last week, a 14-year-old Black boy was tackled by New York police officers in a Saratoga County Target as he waited for his siblings to purchase items in the checkout line.
A Twitter account belonging to the Saratoga chapter of Black Lives Matter said the incident happened on April 18.
A bystander named Tracy Sangare caught the horrifying ordeal on camera. Reports say Sangare tweeted, “The police approached him [the boy] & he immediately showed them he had cash on him & he had no merchandise on him.”
She continued, “The manager was saying he wasn’t stealing – the manager wanted him removed.”
According to Spectrum News, a spokesperson for Target said employees made the call to officers “after a guest entered the store who had previously threatened physical violence against one of our team members.”
The boy’s 17-year-old sister was arrested as she tried to intervene, yelling to the officer that her brother was autistic. Reports say she hit the arresting officer in his face with a soap dish. The rest of his siblings rallied around their brother as he lay stretched across the floor with the white officer on top of him.
The kids’ mother — Chante Ware — was said to have only been a block away when the incident took place.
She said she received a phone call from one of her children that were present, “At the moment, I knew that whatever had happened, it was bad because of the way she was crying. My anxiety went from two to one million.”
“I’ve seen the video, the first part. I can’t bring myself past seeing my son’s face to continue to watch the rest,” Ware said in reference to the footage.
Spectrum News reports that the bystander said, “As soon as I saw the police officer with his hands on the child, I pulled out my phone and started videoing, and I turned to the manager and he said, ‘We just wanted them to leave.’”
In one clip, the boy is heard saying, “I have money to pay. Why are you grabbing me?”
In an April 24 tweet referring to the chaos, Sangare said, “The damage done is immeasurable.”
At this time, the sheriff’s department has not said what led the officer to grab and handcuff the boy. He was not arrested.