A New Jersey mother is demanding answers from the Newark Police Department after her 10-year-old son was chased by police with shotguns.
Patisha Solomon says her son, Legend Preston, was playing basketball outside their home when Newark PD officers mistook him for a 20-year-old armed robbery suspect.
Police approached Legend with guns drawn. At that point, Legend says, out of fear, he ran into an alleyway.
“I ran because they thought that I rolled the ball into the street on purpose, and they were just holding shot guns at me trying to shoot me,” Legend told ABC New York.
Neighbors who saw the commotion, quickly yelled for the police to stop — one neighbor reportedly “threw themselves in front of the guns to protect” Legend.
“He’s only 10 years old, how you all chasing him? He’s only a kid,” Jackie Kelly, a neighbor of the Solomon family told ABC News.
Solomon took to Facebook to voice her anger. In the post, she touched on many of the missteps from police, but the most concerning of all was the officers’ response to the incident. She wrote:
“Their attitude was like (welp he’s a black kid so whats the big deal he knows wassup) no empathy for my child at all,” she wrote. “They acted like they didn’t even understand why he was upset after being chased down with shot guns .. not regular guns.”
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Newark Police Department has since admitted to pursuing the wrong suspect. However, they maintain that guns were not drawn on the boy.
What hasn’t been lost on Solomon is the fact that she too, much like the family of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, could have lost her child.
In a recent post shared with friends on social media, Solomon wrote, “I don’t have a podium full of microphones. Thank God tonight I do have my son still alive.”
Watch as a nervous and tearful Legend tries to recount the day he encountered police.