Police defend arrest of 12-year-old in western Michigan


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Police in western Michigan are defending their actions in the arrest of a 12-year-old black boy following online criticism about the officers’ response.

Grand Rapids police say they were called Friday about a fight and that the boy was arrested after he was seen chasing and hitting a man with a wooden pole.

The boy’s mother, Bernice Jones, says her son was playing and chasing a cousin, and that police overreacted.

The department summarized its response in a Facebook post following a witness’ post criticizing officers , who were described as mostly white.

Michigan’s Civil Rights office earlier this year announced it was investigating about two dozen complaints accusing the department of discrimination. The department has a youth-interaction policy created after criticism over the 2017 handcuffing of a girl .

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