Bodycam footage of Maplewood police handcuffing kids released

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The Maplewood Police Department has released body camera video that shows an incident in which officers detain and handcuff four children while responding to a shots fired report Monday night.

Officers eventually let the kids go after they determined they were not the same people who were seen in a surveillance video of the shots being fired, according to Maplewood police.

The 46-minute video blurs the kids’ faces, and there are several points where the audio is muted.

The start of the footage shows an officer stopping two children out of a group of four at the Minnoco gas station at the corner of Cope and White Bear avenues; the other two had run down the street when the officer pulled up in his squad car, but they later returned to the rest of the group.

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The first responding officer is heard explaining to the kids that police were investigating a shots fired incident and asked if any of them had guns on them or had handled a gun that night. He also says the kids will be free to go if they determine there are no guns in the area.

About 23 minutes into the encounter, the officers start putting the kids in handcuffs. One officer is heard saying, “Everybody is getting detained because there was video of shots being fired.” Once they’re in handcuffs, the officers lead them into squad cars and pat them down to check for a gun.

Then, at the 29-minute mark, one boy asks to call his mom. Three minutes later, a parent arrives at the gas station. A second parent then arrives and starts yelling and cursing at the officers.

“I promise you y’all gonna have a lawsuit on your hands,” the mom says.

Around 41 minutes into the video, the kids are released from handcuffs and returned to their parents. In total, they were handcuffed for less than 20 minutes.

Police say no guns were found in the area, but officers did recover a spent shell casing near where the incident was reported.