10-Year-Old Minneapolis Boy Who Was Pepper-Sprayed While Out Protesting Police Brutality with his Mother says, ‘At Least I Got Maced and Not Shot’

© Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune/AP Ten-year old Taye is embraced by his mother, Susan Montgomery, outside of the Government Center in Minneapolis, Thursday, May 14, 2015. The Black Liberation Project and Black Lives Matter are joining in…
© Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune/AP Ten-year old Taye is embraced by his mother, Susan Montgomery, outside of the Government Center in Minneapolis, Thursday, May 14, 2015. The Black Liberation Project and Black Lives Matter are joining in…

Authorities in Minneapolis have launched an investigation into reports that police pepper-sprayed a 10-year-old boy who was with his mother at a demonstration to protest police shootings. 

Speaking to reporters on Thursday the boy, Taye Montgomery, asked protesters to remain peaceful and said: “At least I got Maced and not shot.”

City police chief Janeé Harteau and Mayor Betsy Hodges called for the public’s help, meanwhile, appealing for witnesses who had seen what happened or recorded video of the incident, which is alleged to have occurred on Wednesday night.

“We need to speak with the public who marched, and motorists. We must have a full set of facts,” Harteau said at a press conference.

Montgomery, 10, took part in a demonstration in downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday,the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The demonstration was organized principally to protest the decision the previous day not to charge the police officer who shot dead teenager Tony Robinson in Madison, Wisconsin, in March.

Police said the protest became unruly, with demonstrators stopping traffic and harassing motorists. When officers pushed back one group of protesters, an officer used pepper spray on the crowd. The chemical reportedly hit Montgomery.

A cellphone video shot by a bystander picked up the sound of high-pitched screaming that the boy’s mother, Susan Montgomery, said was the sound of her son in pain, according to the Star Tribune.

Taye Montgomery was later photographed crying and in pain in a nearby hotel, as his mother and friends poured milk on his eyes.

Susan Montgomery said police had given no warning that they were going to spray people.

Taye Montgomery told reporters on Thursday: “It hurt. I couldn’t see where I was going, I couldn’t find my mom.”

A police report said some protesters on Wednesday night “engaged motorists, jumping on cars and trying to pull open doors. Officers pushed back the crowds to get the motorists out of harm’s way … Chemical aerosol was used to drive back the hostile crowds.”

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Source: The Guardian | Joanna Walters in New York

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