WASHINGTON (AP) — An elected official in Washington is asking U.S. Park Police why teenagers were handcuffed for selling bottled water on the National Mall.
The arrests were made on Thursday. A witness took photos of three young black men being handcuffed by plainclothes police officers. U.S. Park Police say two of them were 16 and one was 17. The agency says in a statement that the teens were warned about vending without a permit and released without charges.
Democratic D.C. Council member Charles Allen wrote a letter to Park Police Chief Robert MacLean on Friday asking him to explain the agency's actions. In the letter, Allen notes the lack of charges and says he doesn't think the officers' actions were justified. He compares it to arresting kids for operating a lemonade stand.
I sent the following letter to Park Police Chief MacLean regarding yesterday's handcuffing of kids selling water on the Mall. pic.twitter.com/bzY4I77E91— Charles Allen (@charlesallen) June 23, 2017
Putting handcuffs on teens selling water on the Mall as if they were criminals? I’m asking U.S. Park Police to come to my office to explain. https://t.co/0YWIkCTpws— Eleanor H. Norton (@EleanorNorton) June 23, 2017