Newly-released body cam video shows a white police officer falsely claiming that a black student was armed with a “weapon” while he was outside his apartment building, picking up trash in Boulder, Colorado on March 1.
Officer John Smyly followed Zayd Atkinson — who attends Naropa University — around the apartment building, while Atkinson picked up trash. Smyly pulled his gun and falsely claimed Atkinson had a “dangerous object” in his hand and that he “felt threatened.”
Atkinson provided his student ID, but Smyly demanded his date of birth, which Atkinson refused to say.
Smyly radioed for back-up by claiming Atkinson was “being uncooperative and unwilling to put down a blunt object.”
Atkinson asked Smyly numerous times if Smyly was going to shoot him, and police sirens wailed in the distance. More officers arrived on the scene, as Smyly pretended it was a dangerous situation. The other cops told Atkinson, who had police guns pointed at him. to “relax.”
Eventually the other police officers told Smyly to let Atkinson go free.
A police internal affairs report obtained by ABC News shows Smyly’s decision to attempt to detain Atkinson “was not supported by reasonable suspicion that Mr. Atkinson was committing, had committed, or was about to commit a crime.”
(Source: ABC News)