VIDEO: Black Man Picking Up Trash in Front of His Home Confronted by Police with Guns Drawn

March 06, 2019 - 11:42 am
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(KNX 1070) -- An African American man was confronted at gunpoint by Boulder, Colorado police while he was picking up trash in his front yard. 

Boulder police have launched an internal investigation into the incident. 

The event began when police observed the man sitting in a partially enclosed patio area behind a "private property" sign. 

The man gave the officer his student identification and explained that he was cleaning the yard.

The officer then requested backup, alleging the man refused to put down the blunt object -- a clam, a device used to pick up trash. 

"I live here," the man can be heard telling the officers in the video. "I am picking up garbage from my (expletive) porch." 

A video of the incident was made by the man's roommate. “He’s picking up trash and you have your hand on your gun?” the shocked roommate can be heard yelling “Go home!”

The officer could 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 tells the officer defending himself. “I don’t have a weapon! This is a bucket, this is a clamp.”

According to Essence, Councilwoman Lisa Morzel asked the department about police policy regarding drawing weapons. Police Chief Greg Testa acknowledged that officers are within their rights for officers to draw their guns if they perceive a threat that could result in serious bodily injury or death.

Morzel went on to press the department on what appeared to be an access number of officers responding to the incident.

“I can only assert that given the information that was there, that was why the number of officers arrived,” Testa told Essence.  “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 initially confronted the man has been placed on administrative leave.