My fellow Your Voices blogger Nekima Levy-Pounds wrote a post this morning about a 10-year-old boy who was pepper sprayed by a Minneapolis police officer during a street protest in downtown Minneapolis last evening.
"Last night, I received some startling news that a ten year old boy was pepper sprayed by a Minneapolis police officer during a march through downtown. Please let that sink in for a moment ... a 10-year-old kid….pepper sprayed."
I took Levy-Pounds' advice and thought about 10-year-old Taye Clinton getting pepper sprayed while participating in a protest. I was not in downtown Minneapolis, but today I watched videos taken from the protest and reviewed social media from last evening.
The Star Tribune reported additional details on the protest last evening and the events which led up to "chemical aerosol" being used by police:
"In a police report, authorities said protesters repeatedly 'engaged motorists, jumping on cars and trying to pull open doors. Officers pushed back the crowds to get the motorists out of harm’s way. … Chemical aerosol was used to drive back the hostile crowds.'"
Ten-year-old Taye, who according to the Star Tribune is autistic, was at the protest with his mother Susan Montgomery. She described the events of last evening as "very traumatic" for Taye. I am sure it was traumatic and I hope Taye makes a full and speedy recovery.
I cannot comprehend a situation where a 10-year-old would be on the receiving end of a blast of chemical aerosol sprayed by a police officer. I also cannot understand why a child was walking with protesters as they blocked streets and burned the American flag last evening in downtown Minneapolis.
The videos and pictures from last evening's protest show it was no place for a child. Lt. Bob Kroll, president-elect of the Minneapolis Police Federation, told the Star Tribune “there was a lot of criminal activity that shouldn’t be overlooked."
I do not believe a police officer would target a child in a crowd of protesters with pepper spray. However, I also believe most people would be surprised to learn a child was walking in a crowd of protesters as they blocked traffic, damaged cars, and burned a flag.
Picture source: Twitter