Fla. police address viral video of toddler walking up to LEOs with hands up

The department released body camera footage of the traffic stop after a video of a toddler walking up to police went viral


By Monique O. Madan
Miami Herald

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Tallahassee Police Department released body camera footage of a traffic stop after a video of a toddler walking up to police with her hands in the air went viral.

The video compilation, posted on Facebook by the police department, shows a snippet from a witness’ video, then the chief of police addressing the incident, along with body camera footage showing the officers’ actions during the traffic stop.

On Thursday afternoon, Tallahassee Police officers were called to a Bealls Outlet after shoplifters were reported.

“Information was received from the store regarding one of the suspects having what appeared to be a gun in their waistband,” police said in a statement. “Based on this information, the loss prevention officers did not stop the suspects, but provided officers with a description of the suspects and their vehicle.”

That’s when officers arrived on scene and asked the suspects inside a blue pickup truck to get out of the car.

In the witness video, a toddler is seen walking barefoot with her hands up over her head toward officers with their guns drawn.

Police said the child’s actions were unexpected, and that she was imitating her parents, who were suspects.

Body camera footage showed officers working to get the toddler and her 1-year-old brother safely away from the truck and into their mother’s arms.

“Are there any other adults in the car?” the officer is heard asking in the video.

“No sir,” the man replied. “Just my 2-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.”

“C’mon, sweetie, you’re OK,” the officer told the young girl. “Come on over here. Mommy is right here, go to mommy. Put your hands down, you’re fine, sweetie.”

Police said two men, identified as Chad M. Bom, 34, and James W. McMullen, 38, were charged with the theft. The gun they were in possession of was actually a pellet gun, cops said.

 
Update on traffic stop video with small child in car

#UPDATE TPD is providing an update to the press release regarding a small child being involved in a traffic stop. Body camera footage and a statement from Chief Michael DeLeo can be viewed. The original video by the citizen is first, then the video shows Chief DeLeo speaking about the incident. The body worn camera footage shows the officers' actions in the incident. The gun located in the vehicle was actually a pellet gun. “This video footage captures the compassion demonstrated by our TPD officers during an intense situation. I’m very proud of their actions and appreciative of the work these men and women do each day to keep our community safe,” Mayor John Dailey said. Original Press Release January 17,2019: On Thursday afternoon, January 17, 2019 around 4:30 p.m., Tallahassee Police officers were called to Bealls Outlet located 3240 Capital Circle Northeast in reference to a shoplifting. Information was received from the store regarding one of the suspects having what appeared to be a gun in their waistband. Based on this information, the Loss Prevention officers did not stop the suspects, but provided TPD officers with a description of the suspects and their vehicle. Officers arriving on scene were able to stop the suspects in the parking lot and detain the individuals inside the vehicle which was a blue pickup truck. Chad M. Bom and James W. McMullen were charged with the theft from Bealls Outlet. The Tallahassee Police Department was made aware of a video of the incident circulating on social media. TPD is currently reviewing the incident and the body worn camera video from the incident. Arrested: Chad M. Bom Age 34 Charge: Petit Theft 2nd Degree pursuant to Florida Statute 812.014(3)(a). Arrested: James W. McMullen Age 38 Charge: Petit Theft 2nd Degree pursuant to Florida Statute 812.014(3)(a).

Posted by City of Tallahassee Police Department on Friday, January 18, 2019

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©2019 Miami Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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