10-year-old boy chased by armed police after being mistaken for armed robbery suspect

Officers deny pointing guns at the child

Jacob Furedi
Wednesday 24 August 2016 01:25 BST
Newark officers allegedly chase 10-year-old

A 10-year-old boy was chased by armed police after being mistaken for a suspect in an armed robbery.

Legend Preston, from Newark, New Jersey, was playing basketball at a local court when his ball rolled into the road.

Newark police officers saw him running out onto the road and allegedly chased him down an alleyway, believing him to have robbed a 40-year-old male at gunpoint.

Legend, a fifth-grader, told WABC-TV: "Some police started coming this way with guns pointed at me, and then I ran into the backyard.

“I ran because they thought that I rolled the ball into the street on purpose, and they were just holding shotguns at me trying to shoot me."

On realising the officers’ error, a number of bystanders intervened. Jackie Kelly, a neighbour who witnessed the event, said: "He's only 10 years old, how you all chasing him? He's only a kid. I'm like, 'that's messed up!'”

Patisha Preston, Legend’s mother, was inside her house when the incident occurred. She later suggested the police officers involved in the incident pose a threat to the community: "These policemen who had guns drawn on my child are still on these streets”.

In a Facebook post, she said: "They want to create hate and criminals out of our children!"

Newark Police have confirmed the officers were armed with weapons, but denied they were pointed at Legend. A preliminary internal affairs investigation has confirmed this, RLS Media reports.

The police department later confirmed they have detained and charged 20-year-old Casey Joseph Robinson with the armed robbery

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