Teens Handcuffed For Selling Water on National Mall

Over the past weekend, pictures surfaced of three young African American teenagers being hancuffed for selling water at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The pictures quickly went viral and provoked outrage from citizens across the nation. Many people voiced their disappointment and rage across social media claiming that if the teenagers were of a different race, they would have been treated much differently.

DC Council member Charles Allen has recently released a letter to the US Park Police Chief Robert MacLean criticizing the policemen’s actions. Allen stated,

“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 claims that the officer’s attitude towards these teenagers would have been drastically altered if they were not young African American men.

U.S. Park Police Sgt. Anna Rose stated that the teenagers were handcuffed in order to maintain the safety of the officers and civilians. Rose also stated that the teenagers and their possessions were discharged to their parents with just a warning from the Park Police.

Still, many wonder why there was such an extreme display of police enforcement for such an insignificant incident.

  • Contributed by Devyn Rorie

WHUR Contributor


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