Recently, parents have opened up about their fears of having police pull a gun on their college-aged children, but many parents are also facing the reality that much younger Black children have targets on their backs as well when it comes to police.
The type of poor policing that led to the deaths of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones struck fear in the heart of an 11-year-old who was relaxing in her own home.
The young girl was sitting on the bed Jan. 25 watching TV when the burglary alarm was accidentally activated, Orlando’s WFTV-TV reported.
The officers arrived on the scene and let themselves into the home, and that’s when they crossed paths with the young girl.
According to her, one of the officers shoved her to the ground and pushed his knee into her back while the other pointed his gun at her.
She said the officers even asked her if she was the homeowner before moving down the hall to find her father.
It was any parent’s nightmare come true and a traumatizing experience for the young girl.
“I was very scared and didn’t know what to do,” she told the local news outlet.
Jean Guirand, the girl’s father, made it clear that he wants the officers fired.
“Someone should get fired for doing something like this,” he said.
After the TV station called the Groveland Police Department, an internal investigation was launched, but citizens aren’t hopeful that the investigation will end in the results they’re hoping for.
As it turns out, both officers have troubling pasts that the department knew about.
James Festa, a three-year veteran, was reprimanded back in December for “botching” a child abuse investigation and was suspended in 2013 for sleeping on the job, Raw Story reported.
The other officer, John Rigdon, is another three-year veteran who was demoted in 2013, suspended back in May and also reprimanded in 2011 for several different incidences of filing false police reports.
For some, it’s surprising that the officers kept their jobs for this long with such troubling personnel files, but the department insists that it takes such issues seriously and will do the same with the latest accusations.
The officers are scheduled to speak with the young girl on Monday.