Editor’s note: A family member of Michael Thomas Jr. sent video to NBC 5 of the 10-year-old being handcuffed. His mother asked us to publish the video to show what happened to her son as she continues to seek answers from police. NBC 5 interviewed Michael with his mother's permission. We continue to monitor the police investigation into how the officers handled the situation.
Chicago police are looking into video showing a 10-year-old boy being handcuffed as officers question the child in what his family believes was a case of mistaken identity.
Cell phone video captured Friday night showed officers handcuffing young Michael Thomas Jr. while questioning him about a gun. Police say they'd received multiple calls of a 10- to 12-year-old with a gun in the area. Police also say Michael ran from them briefly when they approached him.
Michael’s uncle, Victor, confronted the officers at the scene and can be heard on the video questioning why his nephew was in handcuffs.
“They’re telling them that someone called them saying that there is a 12-year-old black kid on a bike with all blue on had a gun,” the uncle is heard saying in the video. “There was about five little black boys with all blue on.”
Michael’s grandmother said she also witnessed the scene and questioned the authorities as her grandson cried.
“You can see that he doesn’t have any weapons on him,” she said in the footage. “I raised up my grandbaby’s shirt. He don’t have anything on him. Take those handcuffs off of him.”
About 15 minutes later, witnesses said the handcuffs were removed.
“I want answers,” said Michael’s mother Starr Ramsey. “You can look at him and tell he no teenager. Ten year’s old you get handcuffed? You scarred him for life.”
Police said they plan on reaching out to the family.