Minneapolis parks officials are investigating after a video showed the aftermath of a police stop in which it's claimed officers drew weapons on four black children.
A video was posted to Facebook by Brianna Lindell on Tuesday, showing two of the children handcuffed at the front of a Minneapolis Park Police squad car at Minnehaha Regional Park.
In the post accompanying the video, Lindell said she'd earlier seen the four children harassed by an older white teenager, who was allegedly spouting racial slurs at them "and aggressing them with a metal trash can lid," while a girl was seen with him on the phone to someone.
Lindell and her partner moved on when some other people came in to deescalate the situation.
However, police arrived a short time later, and the people who had earlier deescalated the confrontation told Lindell that the officers jumped out of their cars "guns already drawn, with guns right in the children's faces."
Lindell says when she returned to the scene of the altercation a short time later, she found two of the boys handcuffed by the squad car, one of them without his shirt on.
FOX 9 reports Minneapolis Park police are investigating it as a possible false 911 call, potentially from the girlfriend of the white teen who was shouting at the children.
Police say they received a call from claiming the children – who are aged 13-16 years old – were holding knives and attacking their boyfriend. They also claimed one of the kids had a gun in their backpack.
The video taken by Lindell has been viewed more than 740,000 times and the post shared 18,000 times on Facebook.
On Wednesday it also prompted a response from Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board president Brad Bourn.
He said that he's reviewing the police stop and has asked for any further cellphone or camera footage of the incident, adding that the children in the video are safe and with their families.
"Children in the city are all of our children," he added. "The best thing the Park Board can do is invest in our kids and provide them fun, positive, structured activities to engage in. For the last decade, investment in our youth has been virtually stagnant."
The Minneapolis Park Police Department has been the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's law enforcement agency since 1887. It currently comprises 30 sworn park police officers and 20 part-time park patrol agents.