An Oakland, Calif., firefighter and father has filed a complaint regarding a local police officer who detained him and his children outside the fire station where he works, KPIX 5 reports.
Firefighter Keith Jones, who is black, was with his 9- and 12-year-old sons, returning from a late Oakland Raiders game to their vehicle, which was parked at Station 29, the news station reports. The door of the garage had been left open by the crew, who were responding to an emergency, and Jones had gone in to double-check that everything was OK. It was at that point, as he was leaving the garage, that a white officer responding to reports of a potential burglary approached, the news station reports.
“Don’t move; put your hands up,” the officer allegedly yelled.
“His hand is on his gun. He was crouched, he was low and he was basically in a shooting stance,” Jones told the news station.
He obeyed but saw that 9-year-old Trevon had started to cry. Apparently the officer had seen Jones’ two children before spotting Jones and had told the boys to keep their hands up.
Jones told the station that he asked the officer if his children could put their hands down and if they could be told that everything was all right. Jones identified himself as a firefighter and said that he explained that he worked at the station. However, Jones said, the officer just told them all to keep their hands up and not to move.
“I was thinking, ‘Is he going to shoot my dad?’ the whole time,” Keith Jones II, who is 12, said.
His brother said he had a similar fear during the altercation. “I was getting ready about to cry. My hands started to get tired, but I kept them up,” Trevon added.
The tense confrontation ended without further incident, with the officer eventually permitting Jones to retrieve his firefighter’s ID. However, Jones said his boys were traumatized and that their view of police officers had completely changed.
“Images in my head, think about how my dad would have got shot. I keep on trying to forget about it ’cause it scares me a lot,” Trevon told the station.
“I think they view black males as a threat,” Jones added.
According to KPIX 5, the Oakland fire chief has contacted the police chief about the incident. Oakland police have acknowledged the claim, saying that the entire incident was captured on the officer’s body camera and that the police department’s Internal Affairs unit was looking into the complaint.
Read more at KPIX 5.