Boulder police on Monday launched an internal investigation after video surfaced of multiple officers confronting and detaining a black man at gunpoint who was picking up trash at his own house.
Boulder police said one of their officers approached a man sitting in a partially enclosed patio area behind a “private property” sign in the 2300 block of Arapahoe Avenue at 8:30 a.m. Friday and asked him if he was allowed to be there, reports The Denver Post.
The man reportedly informed the officer that he lived and worked in the building, and handed the officer his school identification card, but the officer instead detained the man while he “investigated further.”
The Denver Post reports:
The officer then made a request over the radio for additional assistance to respond, saying the man was uncooperative and unwilling to put down a blunt object. Several other officers, including a supervisor, responded. Police found the object the man was holding is a device used to pick up trash.
Police found the object the man was holding is a device used to pick up trash, and officers left the area.
A roommate began recording the encounter and later shared the video online. The 16-minute video shows his roommate trying to explain that he lives in the building and that he did not have a weapon.
“You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I’m picking up trash,” the man can be heard saying. “I don’t have a weapon! This is a bucket, this is a clamp.”
“I’m not sitting down and you can’t make me,” the man says as additional officers arrived on the scene. “This is my property, this is my house — I live here.”
The person recording the video can be heard saying eight officers responded to the scene, some with their guns drawn or their hands on their weapons.
During Tuesday’s Boulder City Council meeting, audience members held aloft trash grabbers and clacked them as Police Chief Greg Testa briefed council members about the incident.
“This is an extremely concerning issue, and one that we are taking very seriously,” Testa read from a prepared statement.
Testa noted that an internal affairs investigation is ongoing, and the initial responding officer is on administrative leave. The probe is expected to take 60 to 90 days, reports Daily Camera.