ONLY ON 3: Man accuses WPD of using excessive force
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — How far is too far for law enforcement to go while searching for a suspect? According to Charlotte Burns one moment her son was walking home from work, and the next he was in handcuffs with multiple guns pointed at him.
“I’ve always taught my children that cops are good guys if you need help, but not now-a-days,” said Charlotte Burns.
Benjamin Burns, 19, says he was walking home down Market St. when a Wilmington Police Officer stopped him and asked to see some identification because he fit a description of a criminal they say was armed and dangerous.
“He had a polo shirt on with a collar, and a pair of jeans, and black clean sneakers,” Burns said.
While Burns was talking to the officer four more squad cars pulled up, and officers approached him with their guns drawn to cuff him despite the fact he was cooperative and freely offered his ID.
“If they were scared that he was this Josh guy, they should have had one gun or a taser on him until they figured out, but 12 guns pulled on my son?” Bush said. “I would have been terrified and his hands were up he wasn’t even acting aggressive.”
After police verified that Burns wasn’t the suspect they let the traumatized 19-year-old go with an apology, but his mother says they took the families peace of mind.
“It scared me because now-a-days the cops seem like they have gone a little gun crazy,” said Burns. “My biggest fear was if he would have made one wrong move would they have shot and killed him too?”
A WPD spokeswoman says that she didn’t have immediate information on the incident, but it sounded like common procedure since the suspect they were looking for was believed to be armed and dangerous.