HOUSTON, Texas. — While he was mowing lawns and handing out business cards, a black teen said that he was harassed by a Harris County Precinct 1 police officer.
The teen, identified as 19-year-old Marvin Gibson, captured the incident on video.
The video showed the officer asking Gibson for his identification and an explanation of why he is going door to door. The teen provided his business card and explained that he is giving out his cards to promote a lawn care service.
The officer asked him for his name and date of birth. The young man provided this information but then asked the officer why he is asking him about his personal information.
The officer responded, “I’m investigating what you are doing.”
Gibson is confused by that response since he has already explained that he is providing business cards for a lawn care service.
Seemingly frustrated about being questioned, the officer told the teen that, regardless, he is supposed to provide identification anytime an officer asks for it.
Gibson then asked for the officer’s card.
The officer responded by taking out his handcuffs and indicated that he will just arrest the teen..
Gibson backed away, telling the officer that he is on video.
A second teenager appeared on the video, questioning why they are being stopped. As the camera panned around, it showed a lawnmower, care equipment and the business cards that the teens are using.
As the second teenager explained that they don’t understand why they are being questioned for mowing grass and putting out business cards, the officer said, “Put your hands down,” even though the video does not show either teen with their hands in the air.
At this point, the teens pointed out that they are clearly doing lawn care and told the officer that they believe they have been profiled for being young black males.
From behind the camera, Gibson explained that they are questioning the officer’s behavior, because they are concerned about it happening again to someone else, potentially resulting in someone getting hurt.
The teen returned home. However, officers soon came to his home and continued pressing him, claiming they need identification from Gibson.
At the end of the video, the teens included snapshots of injuries they claimed they received during a raid of their home that followed the incident.
Cox Media Group