A 2-year-old child was filmed walking towards armed police officers with her arms raised after her parents were stopped on detained on suspicion of shoplifting.
In a shocking video shared online, Tallahassee Police officers can be seen holding pistols and rifles as they detain Chad M. Bom and James W. McMullen outside a busy department store in Florida. A toddler is then seen coming out of their black pickup truck with no shoes or socks on as she approached the police.
Officers kept their guns raised and the little girl raised her arms into the air in a heartbreaking move that shocked those filming the action from across the road. The child was then picked up by a woman, reported to be her mother.
A voice behind the camera filming the incident can be heard narrating.
The voice said:
‘She’s trying to get out but she can’t because she’s little.’
‘She is out. Oh, she’s holding her hands up. Oh my God, look at that. Oh my God.’
‘They’re still holding the gun at the baby,’ says one person.
But another disputed: ‘No, they’re holding the gun at the car.’
Tallahassee police said they were heavily armed as staff at the store reported that the suspects had a weapon with them. Police found a pellet gun in the back of the pick up truck.
Social media users who watched the video criticized the officers for not handling the situation in such a way as to shield the child from it all.
But footage from body cameras worn by the officers present was later reviewed said TPD Chief Michael DeLeo. It showed that they had asked one detainee who else was in the vehicle, to which he could be heard responding: ‘Just my two-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.’
The mother later retrieved the second child from the truck.
The body camera footage shows the officers’ concern for the children and their compassion as they permitted the mother to care for the children.
The mom, who is a suspect, asks an officer to hold her 2-year-old as she retrieves the infant from a car seat.
I am proud of how officers handled the situation, how they adapted when they became aware of the children, the level of concern and compassion they showed to the family.
Watch the video below.