Outrage Erupts Over Viral Video Showing Syracuse Police Detaining 8-Year-Old Boy Over Alleged Theft of Chips

Social media exploded over a viral video showing Syracuse police grabbing an 8-year-old boy and putting him into a patrol car.

A video showing a sobbing 8-year-old Black boy being held by his arms by a white officer and being placed in a Syracuse Police Department patrol car has gone viral and sparked outrage about how the child was treated.

His alleged offense? Stealing a bag of Doritos.

"Syracuse police really? Over a bag of chips ? He’s just a kid," wrote one poster.

"This is an absolute disgrace! Shame on those officers. That poor kid was traumatized. Look at his face!" said another.

“Gee, why don’t Black people trust the police?” wrote someone else.

Bystander video posted Monday of the weekend incident has garnered more than 2.3 million views on Twitter.

“What is y’all doing?” repeatedly asks the bystander, 37-year-old Kenneth Jackson, according to Syracuse.com. “He looks like a baby to me.”

“He’s stealing stuff,” answers another cop.

“I’ll pay for it,” the man responds. “Leave him alone.”

Jackson is told to "keep walking" and "you don't know what you're talking about," by the white officers as the child sobs hysterically.

Anthony Weah told Syracuse.com he was out running errands Sunday when he was called by police, who said they were at his house with his three sons.

Weah went home and was told by officers that his sons were involved in stealing a bag of chips, he said. The boys were not charged and the cops left, Weah said.

But it wasn't until later that he saw the viral video of his son being forced into the cruiser as he cried hysterically. 

“Why would the police treat that child like that?” Weah asked. “Over a $3 bag of chips.” 

Police later issued a statement, saying the boy was not placed in handcuffs and no charges were filed. The incident was “being reviewed."

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said in a statement Tuesday that he was initially “concerned” when he saw the video, but added the boy was taken home and no charges were filed. The city should better support children and their families by investing in “alternative response options” other than police, added Mayor Walsh.

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