Viral video of officers handcuffing black boys in park prompts police investigation
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Minneapolis Park Police are investigating an incident in which four black teenage boys were handcuffed by Park Police officers after a video of the encounter went viral this week.

In a video posted to Facebook on Tuesday, the four boys can be seen being detained by police after a 911 caller alleged they were carrying knives and a gun, and that they had assaulted the caller’s boyfriend, police said in a statement released Wednesday.

The video had garnered more than 2.3 million views as of Thursday.

Witnesses in the video say the boys were the victims of racial slurs. 

The woman who captured the viral video said in the post that the teens were being harassed by "a young white guy, who appeared to be around 17 years old. He was spouting racial slurs at them and aggressing them with a metal trash can lid and saying he had a knife." 


"My partner tossed him his shirt and a cop jumped out of the squad car and started yelling at us that we were interfering with an arrest," the woman wrote, adding that the officers pointed "the guns right in the children's faces."

Police first arrived at the park late Tuesday after receiving the phone call. One aimed his gun in the boys’ direction, police said. But authorities said they didn’t find any weapons on the four boys — two of whom are 13 years old. The other, the statement said, are 14 and 16. 

In the statement, Park Police Chief Jason Ohotto and Superintendent Mary Merrill were said to have viewed the officers' body cam footage on Wednesday morning and are requesting an independent investigation into the incident to determine that park police policies, procedures and laws were followed. 

Police also said they will continue to investigate the validity of the initial 911 call, adding that falsely reporting a crime in Minnesota is a misdemeanor-level criminal offense.