Black Teens Handcuffed for Selling Water*

Black Teens Handcuffed for Selling Water*

The teens were reportedly given a verbal warning and released. | Photo: Tim Krepp Twitter


“My kids sell water and everyone smiles at them. These kids do it and get arrested. It is racist,” Krepp wrote on his Twitter.

On Thursday, four black teens were detained and handcuffed by undercover police for selling water on at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

On Friday, U.S. Park Police Sergeant Anna Rose said, in a statement, that “officers placed them (two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old) in handcuffs for the safety of the officers and of the individuals.

“Vending on the National Mall is illegal without a permit,” Rose added, stating that the teens were released without charges after their parents arrived at the park’s police station and that the incident was “blown out of proportion.”

A Mall worker, Tim Krepp, posted images of the young men in cuffs on his Twitter page. Krepp, who spoke to HuffPost, said his shift had just ended when he saw the young men in the custody of plainclothes park policemen.

Undercover @usparkpolicepio handcuffing kids on @NationalMallNPS for selling water.

— Tim Krepp (@timkrepp) June 22, 2017

Krepp, a tour guide for almost 11 years, said that young boys and girls sell water at the Mall “all the time,” but he has never witnessed anyone being handcuffed as a result.

“My kids sell water and everyone smiles at them. These kids do it and get arrested. It is racist,” Krepp wrote on his Twitter.

He said seeing the young men handcuffed, sitting on the ground and being searched struck him.

Krepp’s tweet, which has since been shared more than 15,000 times, has sparked wide-scale outrage from the public as well as political representatives.

Worst part is how numb the kids were to this. Like it’s just part of growing up black.

— Tim Krepp (@timkrepp) June 22, 2017

“There’s no way you can avoid the obvious imagery of young black men being handcuffed and clearly being treated as a threat with white cops around,” Krepp told HuffPost. Krepp added that this incident speaks to a broader more significant issue involving the policing of people of colour.

“Images matter and symbols matter, especially at the National Mall when you’re here to see symbols and images to learn,” he added.

“That’s why it’s here, this is a sacred space to talk about our national history and the cops should be aware of that.”

Washington D.C. Councilman Charles Allen chimed in on the incident, posting a letter he addressed to the U.S. Park Police chief.

I sent the following letter to Park Police Chief MacLean regarding yesterday’s handcuffing of kids selling water on the Mall.

— Charles Allen (@charlesallen) June 23, 2017

In the letter, Allen pointed out the racial double standard regarding the manner in which the incident was handled.

“While I understand the need to maintain consistency in permitted actions, I do not understand why the enforcement cannot take place with uniformed personnel and actions less severe than handcuffing individuals suspected of the sales. I can’t help but think how the reaction by these same officers might have varied if different children had set up a quaint hand-painted lemonade stand on the same spot,” Allen’s letter detailed.

“While still the same violation of selling a beverage without proper permits and licenses, I doubt we would have seen little girls in pigtails handcuffed on the ground.”


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Neighbourhood Comes Together to Remove Racist Graffiti from Black Family’s Home*

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National Day of Zumbi: Awakening Black Consciousness in Brazil*

Anti-Racist Activists Win as Seattle Council Votes to End Youth Incarceration*

‘We Charge Genocide’: Systematic Murder & Oppression of Blacks Continues in U.S.*

Sentenced: Bribed to Send Black Kids to Jail*

Are Schools Preparing Black Boys… for Prison?

U.K. – Tottenham Riot and Disenfranchised Youth!?


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