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Police Stop Traumatizes 8-Year-Old Boy: A Case of Mistaken Identity Sparks Outrage and Fear

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Shanice Stewart and Brandon Stewart: Global News

A Black mother demands an apology after a troubling incident involving Sacramento police officers who detained her and her 8-year-old son at gunpoint. They mistakenly thought the child resembled a teenager wanted for two felonies. Shanice Stewart, who is pregnant, was en route to her son Brandon’s football practice around 5 p.m. on October 17 when the police pulled them over. The police halted their journey, encircled their vehicle with additional units, and deployed a helicopter. In an unexpected twist, the authorities were actually pursuing her son, whom they believed matched the suspect’s description.


Stewart recounted the ordeal in a Facebook post. They instructed her to throw her keys out of the window and exit the car slowly with her hands raised. Brandon, her son, also exited the vehicle, expressing his fear and pleading with the officers not to arrest his mother. Eventually, the police realized their mistake and closed the incident. They had misidentified the third-grader as the juvenile suspect wanted for felony charges. One of them is gun possession, a revelation that left Stewart both shocked and frustrated, as she shared on social media.


The Sacramento Police Department openly acknowledged their error. They had observed a juvenile they believed to be the wanted suspect entering a vehicle with heavily tinted windows. This spurred executed what they termed a “high-risk stop,” involving multiple officers and the helicopter. However, they eventually discerned that the child was not the suspect.


Stewart informed ABC News that the traumatic experience deeply affected her son. She says it makes him anxious about highway travel and super sensitive about police presence. She also voiced her concerns about potential harm to herself or her child. This incident compares to the 2018 shooting of Stephon Clark. Similarly, the Black man was killed by Sacramento Police in his grandmother’s backyard. The subsequent absence of charges against the involved officers prompted protests and controversy.

We invite your thoughts on this incident and its far-reaching implications.

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