Recounting the incident, Amadi said he was at a friend’s birthday party and went to the store to get snacks. An hour later, they were playing outside when police approached him and moved to restrain him. He learned he was suspected of stealing from the store.
“He just kind of kicked my leg and pushed me to the ground and took me to the car from there,” he said. “I thought I was losing it because I know I don’t steal and I don’t need to steal.”
Amadi sat in a police cruiser handcuffed for about 10 minutes. He was then released.
“It was kind of scary, but now that I think of it I hope he reflects on it,” Amadi said. “I expected a sorry from him, but he didn’t say it.”
He said he’s feeling better now, but suffered nightmares in the days following his arrest. He said the experience has made him fearful of police.
Discussing the incident at Calgary Police Commission last week, CPS Chief Mark Neufeld said officers were called to an Ogden convenience store after a group of youths allegedly stole about $60 in ice cream and candy. Two kids later came back and stole more, he claims.
According to Neufeld, officers who reviewed video in the store spotted Amadi and determined he matched the suspect description. The police chief said an officer used force to restrain Amadi after he attempted to pull away from police.
But Amadi said he never ran from police, and said he was confused why the officer was detaining him.
His family said he sustained a bruise to his wrist from handcuffs and a cut on his legs when he was taken down; Neufeld said no injuries were reported in the detention.
Family members met with police officials, including the officer who restrained Amadi, on May 5. Neufeld, who did not attend the meeting, said the parties didn’t reach a “full agreement” but a good discussion was had.
Amadi’s family said they were unhappy about the meeting, however, saying all attendees apologized to them except for the officer who took down the boy. Police offered a follow-up meeting, but the family declined; they also offered Amadi and his brother a spot in police-run day camp over the summer, which the boy said he did not want to attend.
“He’s doing all the right things, staying out of trouble, but this still gets brought to his doorstep, and this is honestly something that can traumatize a child and forever shape the way they see law enforcement moving forward,” Massiah said.
Neufeld told police commission members the force used by the officer was “quite reasonable,” adding police are trained to use only as much force as necessary to restrain suspects who are resistant to police.
This content was originally published here.