'I Don't Have a Weapon!' Cops Confront Trash-Picker

Police pull a gun on a black man in Boulder
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2019 10:15 AM CST

If critics are right, Colorado police may have pulled a gun on a man for cleaning while black. A video has emerged of police officers in Boulder, Colorado facing a black man last Friday in the yard of a house, USA Today reports. "You're on my property with a gun in your hand threatening to shoot me because I'm picking up trash," says the man, who remains unidentified. "You're not going to get away with murder. Not today. I don't have a weapon. This is a bucket. This is a clamp." At one point, an officer tells the man to "just relax" and "drop the weapon," but the man responds, "You have a gun in your hand." The officer responds, "Yes I do because you're not listening." A man shooting the video also speaks up, telling the officers to "go home" and "take your hand off your gun."

Police say it began when an officer spotted a man "sitting in a partially enclosed patio area" behind a "Private Property" sign. Approached by the officer, the man handed over his student ID and said he worked and lived in the building, a Naropa University housing facility, but the officer found him unwilling to let go of a "blunt object" and called for backup, per the Daily Camera. The incident escalated at a Boulder City Council meeting Tuesday when audience members clacked trash grabbers in protest and Police Chief Greg Testa told council members his version of events, per the Denver Post. A police officer, who is white, has been placed on leave pending an internal investigation. The NAACP and other groups are planning to march Sunday in Boulder. (More racial profiling stories.)

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