10-year-old held at gunpoint and handcuffed by police leads to protest in Detroit


Bodycam footage of an April 16th incident where police held a 10-year-old boy at gunpoint and handcuffed him sparked a justice rally in Detroit’s Pittsfield Township. 

During the police traffic stop, the video shows police demanding Benjamin Whitfield to step out of his dad’s car while being held at gunpoint. Benjamin, who is shaking due to the intensity of the incident, is handcuffed by the officer. 

When asked if he’s “ok,” the 10-year-old says he’s “scared.”

Benjamin’s dad is confronted by a number of officers, before realizing that his son is in handcuffs. 

“Why the f–k do y’all have my son in handcuff?,” exclaimed his father. Benjamin is later uncuffed after asking to call his mother.

According to Benjamin’s mother, Makia Dixon, he suffered trauma from the experience. “Every time he sees the police, he gets scared,” she said. “He’s not gonna ever be able to trust a police officer.

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Whitfield’s family has filed a federal lawsuit against the Pittsfield Township police. According to the suit, the incident began when police were investigating an unrelated shooting, while Benjamin and his father were on the way to Briarwood Mall.

Police instructed Benjamin’s father to leave the area, leading him down a one-way street. The dad’s mistake caught the attention of authorities as he was pulled over in a shopping plaza.

Dionne Webster-Cox, who is Benjamin’s family attorney asked the crowd during the rally, “How could an unarmed boy necessitate a police officer handcuffing and pointing a gun at him?” 

While a number of protestors held Black Live Matter signs, on man addressed the officer directly with his sign. It read: “If you sit back and watch a ‘bad apple’ do bad stuff – then you’re a bad apple too!”

The family is suing the police department for $400,000 in “emotional injury” to Benjamin. 

“What happened on April 16, 2021, was a travesty,” said Cox to Fox 2 Detroit. “What happened on April 16, 2021, makes me sick.”

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The lawsuit accuses the unidentified officer with assault with a deadly weapon, infliction of emotional distress and gross negligence. Fox News has reached out to the Pittsfield Township Police Department for a statement in regards to the incident.

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