Police in Boulder, Colo., confronted a black man who was picking up trash in front of his own home — and at least one of the officers drew his gun on him, new video shows.
The video, posted to YouTube by Vanardo Merchant, shows a man with a bucket and a trash picker in the front yard of a townhouse complex. An officer shows up and questions the man, with his hand apparently on his hip, the video shows.
“He’s picking up trash,” the person filming yells, as the officer and the man exchange words. “He’s picking up trash and you have your hand on your gun? Go home.”
“He lives here,” the man behind the camera adds.
In a statement, Boulder Police say the first responding cop saw the man sitting in a partially enclosed patio area directly behind a “Private Property” sign and questioned him about if he was allowed to be there.
The man responded that he both works and lives there — and gave cops his school identification card. He repeatedly told officers that he was simply picking up trash — growing increasingly irate.
When the man was unwilling to put down what cops described as a “blunt object” — which was actually the trash grabber — the officer radioed for assistance, cops said.
Several more officers then showed up, including a supervisor.
Eventually, the officers gave up, one of them saying, “You’re angry, and it escalated. And it’s likely you got profiled, OK? So we’ll pick it up at a different time. Not here right now.”
At a Tuesday City Council meeting, Boulder Police Chief Greg Testa pushed back on assertions that the officers had their guns drawn, WCJB reported.
“In contrast to what was stated in the video that is on social media, body worn camera video indicates that only one officer had a handgun out, and it was pointed at the ground,” he said. “I’m not making excuses, I’m just trying to provide some needed context in terms of that specific aspect.”
The initial responding officer was placed on administrative leave, and an internal affairs investigation is ongoing, he said.
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