(WSYR-TV) — A video of a young Syracuse boy being put into a police car has gone viral and has stirred up conversation about the Syracuse Police and its relationship with the city.
SPD says they are aware of a video which has now been viewed over 40,000 times on Facebook and over 2 million times on Twitter. It shows a young boy crying as he is put into a police car. Audio from the video suggests he is accused of stealing a bag of chips from a store on the city’s northside.
Police say the boy was never put in handcuffs and was placed in the back of a patrol car and taken home, where officers met with the boy’s father. NewsChannel 9 has been told the officers’ actions are under review, along with body-worn camera footage.
No charges were filed.
Below is the full statement from the Syracuse Police Department:
We (SPD) are aware of a video being shared on social media involving several of our Officers and juveniles accused of stealing from a store on the City’s northside. The incident, including the Officers’ actions and body-worn cameras, are being reviewed. There is some misinformation involving this case. The juvenile suspected of larceny was not placed in handcuffs. He was placed in the rear of a patrol unit where he was directly brought home. Officers met with the child’s father and no charges were filed.Syracuse Police Department
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh also issued a statement on the video Tuesday:
“When the online video was first shared with me on Monday, I was concerned. I asked Chief Buckner and the SPD to review all body worn camera footage, which is ongoing. Officers were responding to a call for a larceny that had just occurred at a nearby business. Based on what I have seen, the body camera footage demonstrates no handcuffs were used by officers at any time. The child was placed in the back of a patrol car and taken home to his family. The officer knew the child from prior interactions and explained to him that he was being taken home. The officers returned the child to his family and discussed the incident with his father before leaving without filing any charges. What occurred demonstrates the continuing need for the City to provide support to our children and families and to invest in alternative response options to assist our officers.”
NewsChannel 9, along with Good Morning America, caught up with the father of the boy in the video Wednesday.
Anthony Weah said he initially found out the police had his sons, when police called and told him they were at his house. Weah then went home to see them.
The video in question involves his oldest son. Weah acknowledged he was told about his son stealing a bag of chips. He says there were no issues when talking with police in person that day.
He wishes before it escalated, he could have just paid for the chips.
“I want them to pay for what they did to my son. I’m looking for that help for them to pay so that the people will know so that they will not do it to another child. Today it’s my child, tomorrow, it might be someone else’s child.”
You can watch his statement in the video player below:
Governor Kathy Hochul, who was in Onondaga County Wednesday, gave her thoughts on the video. You can hear them in the video player below: