Watch CBS News

Internal Investigation Launched After Officer Detains Man Picking Up Trash Outside His Home

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Boulder police are conducting an internal investigation after some of their officers confronted a black man who was picking up trash at his own residence.

The Daily Camera reports a release Monday from the department says an officer observed the man on Friday sitting behind a "private property" sign. The officer asked if the man was allowed to be there. Authorities say the man told the officer he lived and worked in the building, and gave the officer an identification card, but the officer detained the man.

The officer then made a request over the radio for additional assistance to respond, saying the man was uncooperative and unwilling to put down a blunt object. Police found the object was a device used to pick up trash.

A video posted on Facebook by Vanardo Merchant on Friday shows the confrontation. (Note: The video contains profanity.)

boulder police investigation
(credit: Facebook/Vanardo Merchant)

A police officer can be seen standing a short distance away from the man. The man can be heard shouting, "You're on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I'm picking up trash."

"I don't have a weapon!" the man yells at the officer. "This is a bucket. This is a clamp."

"I'm not sitting down and you can't make me," the man can be heard saying as more officers approach with their sirens on. "This is my property, this is my house, I live here."

boulder police investigation 2
(credit: Facebook/Vanardo Merchant)

"Just relax, put that object down," an officer says.

The man counts out eight police officers. He eventually puts down the clamp device and an officer can be seen returning his gun to his holster.

The video is about 15 minutes long.

Police spokeswoman Shannon Aulabaugh could not provide more information.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.