toy gun

Spartanburg, SC — A video posted to social media over the weekend caused heavy backlash for the Spartanburg police department which prompted them to release body cam video of the same incident. The videos show a 9-year-old boy being handcuffed and placed in a police cruiser for allegedly throwing rocks and playing with a toy gun.

The two videos highlight the importance of being truthful when sharing evidence of alleged police misconduct and the damage done by those out to spread false information.

The incident happened on June 29, when police were dispatched to a neighborhood over a 911 call about some children throwing rocks and playing with a toy gun.

The caller told dispatchers that the child with the orange-tipped toy gun shot her son in the buttocks and also threw rocks at her home.

The stories from both parents differed greatly.


Prior to police releasing the body cam footage, the following video was posted online with the subsequent description:

Very disturbing video. This happened in Spartanburg SC. We were told that this 11 year old boy was playing outside, throwing rocks when the police pulled up with guns drawn. He was eventually handcuffed behind his back and put into a patrol car. This little boy makes good grades, plays basketball, football, baseball and runs track. He also has been a participant in the Omega Camp for four years in a row.

Our question for Spartanburg City Police Office is….does your policing policy include pulling out guns on and handcuffing 11 year old kids??? And yes, we saw the lady pick up the orange tip toy gun from the grass…we were told he was handcuffed because of rocks that were thrown…not because of a very obvious toy gun.

The video went viral and was shared tens of thousands of times being reposted on multiple pages with the same description. The Spartanburg police department was flooded with angry calls asking why on earth a police officer would hold a small child at gunpoint and place him in handcuffs for a toy gun.

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However, it appears from the body camera footage, released by the police department, that the officer never pulled his gun.

This incident began in an eerily similar fashion to that of Tamir Rice who was shot and killed by cops for the same actions as the 9-year-old in the video above. However, this cop chose not to kill.

It appears, from the body camera footage below, that the responding officer acted appropriately.

As TFTP has reported numerous times in the past, police have and will kill children for holding toy guns. Only two months ago, in San Diego, police killed a young boy in a school parking lot for holding a toy gun. 

According to FOX Carolina, the department said they released the entire recording from the officer’s body cam “in the interest of transparency” and to correct some of the misinformation that has been shared.

The only questionable part of the arrest was the officer’s decision to handcuff the small child and place him in the back of the cruiser. However, given the fact that the officer chose not to shoot at or kill the young boy, the handcuffing was overshadowed.

Spartanburg police also shared that their policies based on case law do not prohibit the handcuffing of juveniles or any individuals identified as suspects in the initial phases of a police investigation, reports FOX.

When watching the video below, it is important to remind ourselves about the damaging nature of sharing information that is only half true or completely false. When false information is shared, the entire movement is discredited and set back that much further.

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Any number of other cops, when presented with a child holding a toy gun, could have and would have shot and killed him — or, at the very least, actually pulled out their gun.

The cop in the video below deserves scrutiny for his choice to handcuff the child, but he also deserves praise for sparing the boy’s life.


Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.
  • Damiana

    Nah, I’m not at the point yet of praising cops for deciding not to execute children!

    • David Daisy May Boldock

      Only a matter of time though missus.

    • Guy

      Not that terribly long ago, I could and did travel around my town, with a Shotgun hanging in it’s gun rack on my pickup truck’s back window. This was primarily during bird hunting season, but could be at any other time of the year, and nobody cared, especially City Cops, who had better things to do than hassle folks for the obvious. About the same for, when I was much younger, dressed up in my cowboy outfit complete with six-gun shooters on my hips, marching around the neighborhood shooting bad guys and indians. Then later, it was with my friends, who all had bb guns and pellet rifles, as we walked the creeks shooting everything, including each other, that walked, crawled or moved.

      Now. If I had done any of thouse things. I could expect to be stopped, put into handcuffs, and possibly arrested, or shot and killed, by a nervous as hell cop, who is full of fear for their own safety, not yours or the neighborhoods, and probably hauled off to jail on some trumped up charges, regardless of my age.

      Such is the times that we all live in, and I blame a lot on Hollywood Movies and Piss Poor Training Of Cops, whose methods is to be trained to, shoot first and ask questions second. Because they are basically scared to death all the time, as they are trained to be. Orange tips on toy guns don’t matter to the police, they see a gun of any description,or something similar in their paranoid perception, and their first instinct is to Yell Gun ! And Shoot To Kill ! In About 1 1/2 seconds. Which is less time than it takes to yell their statement, and even sometimes without the yelling ! Just going from fear to death, in a wink and a heart beat.

      Retrain Cops, take the guns away from thouse who are not much more than a typical flat foot, and give them back to the PD SWAT TYPES. Let em wear all the body armor they want for personnel protection, including their tasers, mace and clubs to hit with.

      I think the training that the cops receive today, is a large part of what is wrong, attributing it to being trained as K-9 Attack Dogs With Thumbs ! Which is stupid, wholly unnecessary, and way over the top, of what is the actual reality of the streets of the U.S.A. But more in their minds as a Hollywood Movie Set, and their training officers. Who will brainwash them into thinking that a black man, with his hands raised, that might have a faraway look on his face, is a dangerous guy on drugs, needing to be shot and killed in the name of officer safety, as her husband films it from above in a helicopter, saying “Thats A Bad Dude,” then only to receive a wrist slap, for cold premeditated murder !

      Our dead rate for civilian causalities, as the result of police encounters per year, is more than the entire Country Of England’s police encounters with their population of 25 Million + civilians, has been in the last Quarter Century !

    • Jennifer Cummings

      Hell no a cop shouldn’t be thanked for not killing person who they shouldn’t have killed.

  • David Daisy May Boldock

    Spartanburg breeds Spartans…Time they left 776 BC

  • Anonymous

    Cops, especially SWAT routinely point and hold assault rifles on children. I know of one instance where Monroe County Michigan SWAT, when raiding and robbing a legal medical marijuana grow pointed and held their assault rifles at a 9, 11 and 13 year old. The family was at the dinner table, eating pizza.
    The stormtroopers held their weapons on those three children long enough for the 11 year old to get hungry and risk picking up a slice of pizza with one hand. Now I understand “clearing” an area, but I think that treating children like armed and dangerous midgets is a terrible idea and they should have gotten the piss sued out of them.

    • Guy

      Yep ! All cops today are trained to think that all kids no matter what age, are all little dangerous killers, with 9 millimeters hidden in their waistbands, who are just itching to blow a cop’s brains out. Just like on the Hollywood Movie Set’s !

  • Jennifer Cummings

    The law is clear cops can only detain a person when they have reasonable suspicion of a crime but most diffently not for the cop or others safety.

  • James Dunn Jr

    Ok clearly this situation could have been handle completely different. Now when the video first started i saw what appeared to look likes gun so i was thinking ok he making sure what he was playing with was indeed a toy gun OK cool. Once he realized that that the gun was indeed a toy right then he should have taken the cuffs off and went to the house that called the complaint and tried to find this young man parents. He knew the call was for throwing rocks so @ that point handcuffing the child was not needed @ all once he saw he was no threat and i understand why the mother was upset. Now i agree mom didn’t help matters by allowing the officer to explain the situations then she could have responded but this is example on how you can take a simple problem blow it up to be completely deadly. If cops are this afraid they will be killed because they will show there fear to the wrong person and they will be killed point blank because of there assumption of the wrong person

    • AntLee06

      also look how he made the kid (still in handcuffs) and the mom wait while he did a slow three point turn to park. That is so wrong and just reeks of power trip. Make it worse his back up officer (the one with at least a little compassion) comes and blocks the street anyway

  • Ana Delgado

    when do we need to praise a police officer for not shooting a child?? who is holding a toy gun.. America what the hell have we become.. he handcuffe the mother for yelling at him.. because he had handcuffed and put her 9 year old son in the back of a police car.. yet we are suppose to be glad and yes thank the officer for not killing the child.. this is something really wrong here.. this is not America this is a police state .. you wonder why people do not trust or respect the police.

    • Denny

      Im confused. Is owning an obviously toy gun a crime in south carolina? Such that cops arrest a child for having it? If it is a crime, why are they sold? Shouldnt they be illegal to make and sell? Wtf?

  • crazytrain2

    Good for you guys, calling out this family and the community for their rabid attacks on the Spartanburg police over false information.

    HOWEVER, how in the hell are you guys going to criticize these people, rightfully of course, but then you title this incident ” watch as police handcuff 9 yo boy and THROW him in cruiser.” There was no throwing, no mistreatment of the child, though I disagree with handcuffing a child unless they are an immediate threat to themselves or others. Maybe the officer did not know how young the child was because his implicit bias caused him to age the black child, and maybe he thought he was dealing with a 20 year old man. The most disgusting thing on either video was the uncle saying “they got this little n—-r handcuffed.” I hate that word, I hate typing it, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why one would refer to a nine year old child as such!

    But every asshole that was spreading the false info and spewing and sewing anger, needs callled out on their garbage.