Boulder, Colorado police have launched an internal investigation after several police officers – who either drew their guns or had their hands on their holsters – confronted a Black man who was picking up trash in front of his own home.
According to the Daily Camera, the incident all started when one officer saw the man sitting in a partially enclosed patio behind a “private property” sign. Maybe the officer thought Black people can’t live on private property? Because he apparently asked the man, who remains unidentified, if he was allowed to be there.
The man told the officer he lived and worked in the building, showing the officer his school identification card, but the officer still decided to further investigate. He requested back up, reporting that the man was uncooperative and didn’t want to put down a blunt object (a harmless clam used to pick up trash to us common folks). Soon several officers were on the scene, again, either with their guns drawn or with their hands on their weapons.
A witness, who said he lived with the man, posted a video of some of the incident to social media. In the video, the person recording could be heard yelling at cops to “Go home.”
“He’s picking up trash and you have your hand on your gun?” the outraged roommate yells. “Go home!”
The officer could also be heard asking the man to “put the object down.”
“You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I’m picking up trash,” the man could be heard yelling at the officer defending himself. “I don’t have a weapon! This is a bucket, this is a clamp.”
Shortly into the video, more officers arrive sirens blazing.
Throughout the confrontation, the man continues to defend himself, as his roommate continues to record.
“I live here! I’m a resident of this f–king property. I’m picking up garbage from my f–king porch,” he yells. “Don’t tell me what to f–king do. You guys don’t have a goddamn f–king right to be doing this!”
The incident sparked outrage in the community, leading to a city council meeting where members grilled the police chief with questions, the Camera noted in another report.
Councilwoman Lisa Morzel asked about police policy when it comes to drawing weapons. Police Chief Greg Testa acknowledged that it is reasonable for officers to draw their guns if they perceive a threat that could result in serious bodily injury or death.
Morzel also questioned the number of officers that responded to the incident.
“I can only assert that given the information that was there, that was why the number of officers arrived,” Testa said. “I don’t want to make an assumption because an investigation is ongoing.”
“This is an extremely concerning issue, and one that we are taking very seriously,” Testa added in a prepared statement.
The officer who first confronted the man has been placed on administrative leave.