2 separate incidents in La Plata involving police detainment of teens under investigation

- A formal investigation has been opened in two separate cases involving teenagers detained by law enforcement following a FOX 5 exclusive report.

In one case, FOX 5 obtained video showing the detainment of a 15-year-old boy who suffers from epilepsy just outside his home in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

In the other case, another teenager told us his story of how he was forced to the ground while listening to music in his car.

Both incidents happened about two blocks from each other in La Plata in Charles County.

Law enforcement said they were responding to calls about a threat of gun violence in both cases.

But the mothers of these teenagers said the way they went about doing their job was abuse of power and they want something done about it.

"I said, ‘What did I do?’ They said, ‘Put your hands on ground or I will shoot you,’” 15-year-old Demondray Cole described to us. “And then my friend said, ‘Just do it before they shoot you,’ and I said, ‘Okay.’”

Just seconds before that happened, Cole said he was sitting in his car with his friend listening to music.

"We were in the car playing music and then the police rolled up full speed, so I turned the music down because I thought that was the problem,” he said. “But then, they thought I had a gun and that I threw it, so they said, ‘Put your hands on the ground.’”

La Plata police apparently got a call about a black man with a red shirt carrying a gun. Cole said he was not the only black male in the area wearing a red shirt at the time.

Police said they detained several people in the area.

But Cole’s mother said she is angry and that teenagers in the area are being harassed by police.

Just a day later and just a couple blocks away, there was another incident involving a teenager with epilepsy who was carrying his school backpack while walking with his mother.

As in the other incident, the Charles County Sheriff's Office was responding to call involving a gun -- this time with juveniles nearby.

“The female officer, she pulls out her gun and she tells [my son] to freeze,” said Tasha Forbes. “He turns around, he says, ‘What did I do?’ She says, ‘Shut up and get on the ground.’”

In video taken of the incident, the teenager was detained, handcuffed and searched while on the ground. But for a panic-stricken mother telling police her son has epilepsy, watching them was all too much.

"He pulls out his gun, he has it pointing down at the ground, but the ground where the gun is pointing at is right on where my son's head,” said Forbes. “You could see that he’s clearly nervous because of the crowd.”

She added, "[My son] is scared. I can see it in his face. He’s confused. He doesn’t know what he’s done wrong, which he hadn’t done anything. At that point, why is he on the ground? As a parent, I'm helpless. There is nothing I could do but stand on the side and yell. I know that’s bad, but that's my son.”

The sheriff's office said their suspect fit the description of a person they were looking for -- a black male wearing a green shirt. But when police helped him up and walked him over to the car for questioning, his mother got even more upset.

"I have a problem with that,” Forbes said. “I understand they are doing their job. I get it. You get a call about a male with a gun in a green shirt -- a man. He’s not a man. He's a boy."

Both the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and La Plata police responded to our request for a statement. Both said they are committed to maintaining the community's trust and they are conducting investigations into both incidents.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

More Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories