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MPB Pres. Reviewing Minnehaha Falls Police Stop Involving Black Children

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A video of children detained by Minneapolis Park Police has some in the community asking tough questions.

Park police were called to Minnehaha Falls Park Monday night on reports of four teens with knives and sticks.

The caller also said one of the teens had a gun in his backpack.

Park police arrived and detained the teens.

They didn't find any weapons.

Video of the kids being detained was posted to Facebook, where it was viewed more than 900,000 times.

minnehaha falls police stop incident
(credit: Brianna Lindell via Facebook)

In response to the incident, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is contracting an independent investigative agency to make sure all of the park board's policies and procedures were followed.

It is also looking into the validity of the 911 call that sent officers to the scene.

The video shared on social media shows teens being detained by park police.

It all began with a 911 call at 7:30 p.m. Monday, asking for help inside Minnehaha Falls Park.

"The 911 caller reported four males holding knives and sticks and provided detailed descriptions of the four suspects," said Park Police Chief Jason Ohotoo. "Additional information provided by the caller stated one of the suspects had a gun in a backpack."

Ohotto says officers responded quickly after the caller claimed her boyfriend was being assaulted by the teens.

"One park police officer did un-holster his firearm and point it in the general direction of the four suspects," Ohotto said.

The video does not show what happened before officers arrived.

We do know two 13-year-olds, a 14-year-old and 15-year-old were detained.

"No weapons were found," Ohotto said. "The incident and the validity of the 911 call are under investigation."

The teens were released after no weapons were found.

Officers did speak with several witnesses.

"Witness accounts were inconsistent with the 911 caller's accounts of the incident," Ohotto said.

Police were unable to find or contact the 911 caller to validate her story.

"I think the details of the 911 call describing knives and guns are what we need to investigate and get to the bottom of," Ohotto said.

Filing a false police report is a misdemeanor level criminal offense in Minnesota.

The officers involved in the incident were wearing body cameras.

The video is part of the investigation and will not be viewed by the public until that investigation is complete.

WCCO-TV reached out to the woman who posted the video on Facebook. We did not hear back.

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