MAPLEWOOD, Minnesota — On Tuesday afternoon, the Maplewood Police Department held a press conference to address video posted online that showed officers detaining several young children for an extended period of time as they were walking home Monday night.
Attorney Ben Crump, who represented both the families of Daunte Wright and George Floyd, shared video of the incident on Twitter and claimed Maplewood police detained four children, including two 10-year-olds, for several hours after officers heard gunshots in the area. NOTE: The video contains some vulgar language.
During Tuesday's press conference, Lt. Joe Steiner, the head of investigations and public information officer for Maplewood police, addressed the video seen on social media.
Steiner said police received a complaint around 9:30 p.m. from a business owner who reported seeing four juveniles outside their business and hearing gunshots. When officers arrived, they encountered four children between the ages of 10 and 16 years old. Police detained the children for about 40 minutes total, and for about 20 minutes they were handcuffed, Steiner said.
He added that officers believed through their initial investigation there was probable cause to detain the children. Steiner said after further investigation, which included viewing surveillance video, officers determined the kids did not have any part in the shooting and they were released. The department is working to locate the people responsible for firing off the shots.
Police confirmed that the department reached out to the families of the children involved in the incident to review what happened.
Cokeila Taylor, a mother of one of the children that was detained, said when she arrived at the scene she saw her 12-year-old daughter sitting in the back of a police car.
"I get there and my baby is screaming and crying in the back," she said.
Maplewood police tell KARE 11 they plan to release bodycam video of the incident sometime Wednesday, after the faces of the children have been blurred so they cannot be identified.
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