Evanston police are conducting an internal investigation of one officer after he handcuffed the 13-year-old son of a professor, mistakenly believing him to be a suspect in a burglary.
Diwani Greenwell, a student at was riding his bike near his home in Evanston last Thursday when police cars began following him, according to WGN-TV. As he got off his bike to walk home, police ran toward him, ordered him to put his hands on his head and then put handcuffs on, Greenwell told WGN-TV.
Police told Greenwell that they were searching for a burglar described as “a black male wearing cargo shorts,” according to the Daily Northwestern. When the victim of the burglary told police he was the wrong person, they let him go, WGN-TV reports.
His mother, Northwestern University professor Ava Thompson Greenwell, also witnessed the incident, according to the Daily, and filed a complaint against the police department on Friday. She claims that the first officer did not correctly identify himself and that police used excessive force given that at least five officers approached her son, who was alone.
Greenwell told the Daily that she believes the incident is also an example of racial profiling, and plans to speak before the city council on Wednesday.
Commander Aretha Hartley, of the Evanston Police Department's Office of Professional Standards, released a statement Friday in response to the complaint.
“It is officers' perception that they were following protocol in using their discretion in detaining and handcuffing the youth," Hartley said.
Police spokesperson Perry Polinski told Patch that the complaint was still being investigated as of Tuesday morning.
"In addition to investigating facts, [the Office of Professional Standards] would interview the officer or officers involved to determine whether or not their action was appropriate," he said.
Earlier this year, against the city of Glencoe, alleging that police were guilty of racial profiling when they issued him a ticket for biking through a construction zone.
Editor's Note: This article was updated at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, to include a response from the Evanston Police Department.