Denver police held 3 black children at gunpoint, handcuffed their unarmed father

A Denver police sergeant last month held three black children at gunpoint in broad daylight and handcuffed their unarmed father after receiving a 911 call that a black man in a grocery store parking lot had a gun, according the Killmer, Lane & Newman law firm.

The Denver Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but civil rights attorney David Lane said Chief Paul Pazen asked to have a meeting about the incident.

According to an account provided by Lane’s firm, Naphtali Israel walked his three stepdaughters — ages 2, 7 and 14 — back to his car after buying them treats on May 7 at a Safeway at 14th Avenue and Krameria Street in Denver, then returned to the store to finish shopping.

Denver police received a 911 call from the grocery store asking officers to drop by because someone reported a black man in a white hoodie sitting in a Cadillac by himself with a gun, according to Lane’s firm.

“Indeed, it is VERY important to understand that sitting in a car with a gun is not a crime, violation or petty offense of any sort,” Lane’s firm wrote in the news release.

While Israel was still shopping, security footage provided by Killmer, Lane & Newman shows a Denver sergeant drive up and point his gun for about 15 seconds at the three children in the car — which matched the description from the 911 call — and not reholster the weapon for about two minutes.

That video footage has no audio, but according to Lane, the 14-year-old said the sergeant ordered her to “take her (expletive) hands off the steering wheel!”

Lane said did not know the name of the officer who pulled his gun.

When Israel came back out of the store, police body camera footage — also provided by Killmer, Lane & Newman — shows him handcuffed and searched for a weapon, which he did not have. “We got a call that you have a gun,” an officer can be heard saying on the body cam footage.

Israel can be heard explaining to police that he didn’t have a gun and that the situation was ridiculous.

“When we get a call, this is how we have to do it,” one of the officers can be heard saying.

Israel told The Denver Post he had just returned from the hospital with his newborn baby and fiancée, and took his older children grocery shopping so his partner could have some time alone with her infant.

When his toddler began getting restless in the store, he said he bought his children snacks and took them back to the car, telling them to leave the door open to get some air.

As he checked out, a woman ran inside the store and said she needed to find a father because his children were being held at gunpoint.

Israel ran outside, where he was then handcuffed and searched.

“I was just shopping at Safeway, and I end up with guns pulled on my children,” Israel said. “I don’t know why someone would say I had a gun, but even if I did, it’s not illegal. When I came out of that store, the only thing I could think about was my children’s lives. I approached the situation as calm as possible, but yet still officers grabbed their weapons. These things should not happen.”

Israel said his 14-year-old is now in therapy and the family is seeking therapy for the 7-year-old, as well.

The 44-year-old father said he had to have a talk with his children after the incident informing them that they need to be more aware of the situations they’re in because of the color of their skin and need to comply with police orders in any situation — even if they feel like they’re being mistreated.



By: ThisIsButter (43883.70)

Tags: Denver police held 3 black children at gunpoint, handcuffed