Newark Police Chase 10-Year-Old Boy with Shotguns Drawn, Then Tell His Mother to File a Report

Chasing an armed robbery suspect with dreadlocks, police honed in on a grade-schooler with short, cropped hair.


10 years old
Patisha Solomon

10-year-old Legend Preston was playing basketball near his Newark, NJ home on August 10. When the ball rolled into the street, he ran to retrieve it, then saw police rushing in his direction with shotguns drawn.

The terrified grade-schooler then ran from the police and toward an alley because he was worried he might be arrested for running into the street without looking. He added that he thought the officers might have "thought that I rolled the ball into the street on purpose, and they were just holding shot guns at me trying to shoot me," he told WABC-TV.

According to Preston, when the police confronted him in the alley, their guns were pointed directly at him. It was only when neighbors formed a human shield around him and an adult screamed at the officers that they were detaining a young child that the police de-escalated. Newark PD admits that officers' guns were drawn, but deny they were ever pointed at Preston.

The police had been chasing an armed robbery suspect when they encountered Preston, who despite being large for his age has short hair and is well under six-feet-tall, unlike the suspect they were

Casey Joseph Robinson
Newark PD

chasing, 20-year-old Casey Joseph Robinson (pictured to the right). Robinson was apprehended later, according to the New York Daily News.

Preston's mother, Patisha, wrote in a Facebook post that police insisted that Legend matched Robinson's description and that she could file a report over the incident if she chose to. Patisha later posted this video of Preston, still stunned and upset after his encounter with the police:

It's perfectly understandable why Preston felt he had to run for his life when being advanced upon by police with weapons drawn. In 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann two seconds after the officer jumped out of his police cruiser. Loehmann mistook Rice's pellet gun for a real handgun, and testified before a grand jury that the child appeared to him to be at least 18 years old and engaged in an "active shooter situation."

A grand jury ruled the shooting justified, but the city agreed to pay Rice's family $6 million in a settlement reached earlier this year.

NEXT: Katherine Mangu-Ward Talks With Virginia Postrel Live, Wednesday, August 24!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Won’t.

  2. It’s perfectly understandable why Preston felt he had to run for his life when being advanced upon by police with weapons drawn.

    But he needs to be taught that that is grounds for receiving an official barrage of police panic fire. Also grounds for receiving an official barrage of police panic fire? Defiantly not running.

    1. Actions that also merit a panic fire response:

      Walking towards the officers.

      Walking away from the officers.

      Lying down on his back with open, empty hands raised in the air.

    2. Door Gunner: Git some! Git some! Git some, yeah, yeah, yeah! Anyone who runs, is a VC. Anyone who stands still, is a well-disciplined VC! You guys oughta do a story about me sometime!
      Private Joker: Why should we do a story about you?
      Door Gunner: ‘Cuz I’m so fuckin’ good! I done got me 157 dead gooks killed. Plus 50 water buffalo, too! Them’s all confirmed!
      Private Joker: Any women or children?
      Door Gunner: Sometimes!
      Private Joker: How can you shoot women or children?
      Door Gunner: Easy! Ya just don’t lead ’em so much! Ain’t war hell?

  3. The fifth grader was standing outside his home when cops chasing an armed robbery suspect broke off their pursuit and instead chased Legend into an alley behind his house, according to the family’s account.

    My dog used to do the same thing. He didn’t care which rabbit he ran down. If a closer or slower one presented itself, that was his new prey.

    1. I’m sure in every other respect your dog was a superior specimen compared to those cops.

  4. The cops missed their chance. Once Legend becomes a teenager invincible rage ape it will take much more than a squad of fully loaded police shotguns to take him down.

  5. Surely I can’t be the only one who sees the resemblance?

    1. I guess if you really squint, believe he could’ve cut his hair short in the middle of a pursuit, believe he could have gotten several inches shorter in the middle of the pursuit, and have the IQ of a police officer, then sure.

    2. No, there were half a dozen other people who were sure enough of the resemblance to end a life.


      1. All black people look alike to the black cops? (if they were white it’d be mentioned a few dozen times).

        1. Perhaps police abuse isn’t limited to the white cops? Just a guess.

  6. “Legend”? Modest much?

    1. When you face down a bunch of panic-shitting retards loaded for bear with a license to kill you, we’ll call you “Legend” too.

    2. His superhuman eating power is known.

    3. Maybe his mother really liked maps.

      1. I just assumed it was his cover identity.

      2. My type of humor!

    4. Mom likes Will Smith

    5. Modest much?
      Down right humble relative to an 18 year-old named, “Wise Intelligent Supreme God Allah” who actually is a criminal.


      1. Am I the only person who remembers God Shammgod?

        1. No. College basketball player for Providence, IIRC.

          1. I think Dick Vitale blew a gasket burbling over his name.

      2. Actually, he’s not. He has a ‘history of drugs and weapons’ – neither of which should be illegal. Its certainly not immoral to simply possess either.

        But there are a lot of people who support making as many criminals as possible.

        1. Someone has to support the Prison-Industrial Complex in this country. Where else are the 2-digit IQ, unfit for Mall Cop wannabes gonna be able to legally beat the shit out of people?

  7. It was only when neighbors formed a human shield around him and an adult screamed at the officers that they were detaining a young child that the police de-escalated.

    Given the tendency of the police to shoot at anything that upsets them in any way, this took some balls.

    1. If those neighbors had all been armed, methinks the cops wouldn’t have had the balls to tell the mother to file a report. And I cannot wait for the time when a couple cops pull some shit like this and get held by armed citizens.

      1. Speaking of the neighbors, can we send them a muffin basket, or an assortment of chocolates firearms, or something? They deserve a hell of a lot of praise for standing up to the cops for this kid.

      2. If the neighbors had been armed we’d being hearing about how BLM is a terrorist organization that encouraged an assualt on these heros.

    2. “Given the tendency of the police to shoot ..”
      They must have stream lined the mound of paperwork that used to deter cops from capping a citizen willy nilly.

  8. Those people are all quite similar in appearance. It’s an understandable error.

  9. If you wana make a reasonable income through laptop and if you have a reliable internet connection then you should be able to know how you make your income by laptop.this is very simple to know just vist my website and sign up there for more details….

    follow this for your future……….. http://www.Review80.Com

  10. Thank God they didn’t murder that poor boy. They would have got off if they did though.

  11. The guns drawn bit seems over played. They were carrying shotguns. You don’t really holster those. Without knowing distances, time and a variety of variables the rest of the story well, I’m not going to judge them over it yet. Seems bad on the surface though.

    1. And a ten-year old can’t judge this sort of thing so he’s perfectly justified in being terrified.

      1. Hell, I’d run from a bunch of guys coming at me with shotguns.

    2. +1 “Totality of the circs”

    3. No, but you can certainly safe and sling them.

      No need for some bystander to take a back full of shot because a cop tripped or stumbled while his finger was on the trigger.

  12. He totally fits the description, black male. One is as good as another amirite?

    1. Just look at that wide-set nose!

    2. “One is as good as another amirite?”
      Only if they can get a conviction….stats matter.

  13. Black guy commits armed robbery, paranoid child not shot by police.

    Next up: dog bites man!

  14. Minimum wage proponents have the worst luck.

    Yet despite significantly lower labour costs, a rise in the minimum wage was driving demand for modern factory machinery.

    Every time they try to make things fairer circumstances change! These good-hearted people can’t catch a break!

    1. Wait – how did the author get ‘lower labor costs’ out of ‘a rise in the minimum wage’? The *point* of a minimum wage is to drive up labor costs.

      1. I think the author is trying say something like, “since we all know minimum wage should be $20/hr and it’s only 8 now, why should a small increase to 9 cause such a large increase in demand for replacing those employees with machines?”

        Which is basically admitting understand nothing about economics nor business, though they likely assumed it’s a poignant thought.

  15. It was only when neighbors formed a human shield around him and an adult screamed at the officers that they were detaining a young child that the police de-escalated.

    Sweet Jesus.

    1. Yeah I sort of feel like locals having to form a human shield around a 10-year-old to prevent cops from shooting him down in the street is an indicator that maybe police culture needs a little work.

    2. Where is the video of that?

    3. See, this is the difference between city boys and country boys – we country boys were taught at a young age that if you’re out in the wilds and attacked by a predator, you don’t run away because that just triggers their killing instincts, you face them down and scream loudly at them because they’re easily intimidated by prey that doesn’t act like prey. They’ll take an easy kill any day, you just have to show them you’re not going to be an easy kill and they’ll back down. Granted, these particular predators are pack animals and therefore display a low cunning not unlike weasels and stoats and other members of the mustelidae family and may not be dissuaded as easily as your average bear or mountain lion or turkey buzzard, but you still have a better chance yelling at them face-to-face than ever turning your back on them.

  16. “Chasing an armed robbery suspect with dreadlocks, police honed in on a grade-schooler with short, cropped hair.”

    Makes sense me. =D

    1. “police honed in on a grade-schooler..”
      FFS do you want an arrest and a case closed or not. Stop getting picky. He would get out in a decade or two after DNA evidence clears him anyway. Plus he will get a pay day. Everybody wins. And do not dare go on about the poor tax payer.

    1. You should wipe it….like with a cloth !

  17. police insisted that Legend matched Robinson’s description

    Uhm… they all look alike? /racist

  18. I am pretty sure the Police department will take strict action against the whole squad. How many people does it really take it to kill an unarmed black teenager ?

  19. “When the police confronted him in the alley, their guns were pointed directly at him. It was only when neighbors formed a human shield around him and an adult screamed at the officers that they were detaining a young child that the police de-escalated.”

    When the police are chasing armed robbers down the street ( a situation when robbers are known to shoot at the police), it seems like a reasonable time for the police to have their guns drawn.

    The part about the neighbors forming a human shield around the ten year old before the police drew down seems far fetched. It rings like the perspective of someone who has assumed the very worst possible motives for the police’s actions.

    I could tell the same story in a different way:

    The police were chasing an armed robber down the street when they came across a ten year-old boy. The police neither arrested nor shot him.

    Tragic Boring stories like that seem to happen somewhere every day, but I guess you’re not going to get a lot of attention for writing a story like that.

    1. ‘The police, with their weapons unlimbered, were chasing an armed robber down the street when they came across a 10 year old boy who they then proceeded to chase that boy down an alley.

      I’m not exactly certain how you can get anything *good* to say about the police force from this incident.

      At best they were completely incompetent – if they had *seen* the guy they were chasing, someone should have noticed that the kid wasn’t wearing the same clothing. Someone should have been aware that when you’re chasing a suspect through the streets that uninvolved people might be there – so that you don’t get fixated on the first person of the same race as your suspect and loose lock.

      These guys had no situational awareness, they were just high on chasing some dude down. When a different dude saw them and ran – a perfectly rational response to people *running* with guns in their hands, no matter what they’re wearing or wear you’re at – the went after him. Straight up dog behavior, not trained Human.

      1. Yeah, it’s all easy when we’re sitting at our keyboards with photos to compare.

        Police on an active armed robbery call chased someone they perceived to be fleeing the scene?

        They didn’t cuff him.

        They didn’t arrest him.

        They didn’t shoot him.

        They didn’t charge him.

        I must have had stuff like that and worse happen to me ten times by the time I was 18.

        One time, we were in a park waiting for a gig to start. There were hundreds of hardcore kids in the park. So we’re standing around pregaming, when five hardcore kids come booking around the corner past us at full speed laughing. Then this cop car with sirens on comes blazing across the lawn straight at us. These two cops get out mad as hell. I thought they were gonna beat the shit out of us. One of my buddies who was always paranoid about getting trouble was so scared he was shaking. He’s underage and drinking this beer, and the cop yells at him “Throw that beer away!”. Without even looking or thinking, my paranoid buddy (full of adrenaline) goes to throw the beer away, but he ends up drilling the the cop car with the full beer–right in the side door.

        Turns out the other guys we’d seen had thrown a brick at the cop car as it went by–and all the cops saw when they pulled up was a bunch of hardcore kids.

        The other way to tell the story?

        They figured it out.

        They didn’t arrest us.

        They didn’t shoot us.

        They didn’t charge us with anything.

        Save it for when someone’s rights get violated.

        1. Fuck that. If you accept that sort of behavior from the police then that’s the sort of behavior you’ll get. Cops running rampant and fucking with the first people they see – which *is* a rights violation.

          1. Accept what sort of behavior?

            They thought we’d committed a crime.

            They questioned us.

            They realized we weren’t the guys, and in spite of having beer underage, they let us go.

            Sometimes cops doing a good job entails asking people questions.

            The cops in another Southern California beach town once threatened to kill me if they ever caught me back in town–mostly because they didn’t like my style.

            You see the difference between the cops doing something wrong and doing their jobs, right?

            Do you imagine that the police are only supposed to chase or question guilty people they see fleeing the scene of a crime?

            It’s only a problem if they violate someone’s rights. And, no, chasing someone they see fleeing the scene of a robbery isn’t violating anybody’s rights.

          2. Maybe think about it this way: Do you believe that the police deliberately chased this kid–not because he was fleeing the scene but because they knew he wasn’t involved and they just wanted to hurt his feelings?

        2. Went to pointless fest in Philly a few years ago and was drinking beer behind a random convenience store dumpster. A small group of young black boys run by and a short time later a police officer, me and my buddies froze thought we were busted for sure. The officer exclaimed “don’t worry I wont arrest you unless you let the PBR get warm.”

          1. Fuck that was like 10 years ago, I’m getting old

          2. Police culture may have changed a bit in the last couple decades. Unacceptable to chase down a ten year old boy with shotguns in hand. And did they ever find the dreadlocked perp?

  20. A grand jury ruled the shooting justified, but the city agreed to pay Rice’s family $6 million.

    Because I always give away money for no darn reason!!!!!!

    1. I’ve always wondered about that in these cases where cities make big payouts but don’t admit fault. How is that legal? In almost all cases it is illegal for municipal governments to simply give away money, for obvious reasons. When they give someone a big settlement like this but insist the city did nothing wrong, why can’t the officials responsible be charged or sued by city taxpayers? If city employees were not at fault, there is no justification for paying out the taxpayers’ money. What am I missing? Any lawyers here?

      1. They treat it like they are settling a bogus nuisance suit, arguing it’s better to pay the family off than “risk” an “unpredictable” jury that might side with the family against the obvious “fact” that the officer wasn’t found at fault.

        It’s sickening and vile, but they get to admit no fault, don’t have to fight the all-powerful police union (and related parasite unions) and, hey, fuck it, it’s not like it’s their money, amirite?

  21. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,

    ………….. http://YoutubeJobs.Nypost55.com

  22. Cops running through city streets with weapons drawn. What could go wrong?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.