Texas Cops Mistakenly Hold Black Family at Gunpoint, Handcuff Child After Typo During License Plate Search

Frisco Police Department
A still from the bodycam footage obtained from one of the officers. YouTube

Police officers in Frisco, Texas held a Black family at gunpoint and handcuffed their son earlier this month after mistyping their car's license plate into their system, leading them to falsely believe the car the family was driving was stolen.

The incident occurred on July 23 on the Dallas North Tollway as the family drove to a basketball tournament.

Officer Ran License Plate as From Arizona Instead of Arkansas

While running the car's license plate, officers mistakenly told their system the plate was from Arizona. However, the family's car had an Arkansas license plate, leading the system to tell the officers the car was stolen, the Frisco Police Department said in a statement.

Body cam footage shows an officer holding the family at gunpoint. Officers ordered the family to show their hands, and commanded the driver to exit the car, face away from the officers, lift up her shirt while spinning to reveal her waistband, and walk backwards.

The woman repeatedly told officers the car belonged to her and even clarified she's from Arkansas, not Arizona, body cam footage from another officer shows.
The woman became increasingly concerned after seeing officers handcuff her son.

"Please don't let them do that to my baby, this is very traumatizing," she cried. "Why is my baby in cuffs? What are you all doing? Do not treat my baby this way."

Cops Claim it was 'An Honest Mistake'

After officers realized their mistake, they acknowledged it to the family.

"This was an honest mistake," an officer told one of the boys in the car. Another took responsibility while speaking to the parents: "That's on me."

"We made a mistake," Frisco Police Chief David Shilson said in the department's later statement. "Our department will not hide from its mistakes. "Instead, we will learn from them. The officer involved quickly accepted responsibility for what happened, which speaks to integrity."

Shilson added that he has spoken with the family, adding, "I empathize with them and completely understand why they're upset. I apologized on behalf of our department and assured them that we will hold ourselves accountable and provide transparency through the process."

"This incident does not reflect the high standard of service that our officers provide on a daily basis to our residents, businesses and visitors," Shilson said.