“This changed everything about him,” said Markia Dixson of Ann Arbor as she describes something that happened to her 11-year-old son.

Dixson says, prior to a terrifying encounter with a Pittsfield Police officer in early spring, her son was a happy, outgoing 11-year-old.

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“He sits in the house all the time now, he really doesn’t want to go outside,” said Dixson.

In a 12-page lawsuit filed last month against officer Smith with the Pittsfield Police department. It states Smith violated the civil rights of the 11-year-old when on April 16, 2021, he pointed a loaded gun at the child and put him in handcuffs.

.“Get down, get down, do this, giving all these demands, put the phone down. The boy is so visibly shaken you can see his hands, he sits down, then he makes up stand back up and puts him in handcuffs,” said Attorney Dionne Webster-Cox, of Webster Law.

The incident happened after the child’s father was pulled over near I-94 and Huron after being involved in a high-speed chase with Ann Arbor Police

Attorney Cox says Ann Arbor police was already on scene and had the child sitting in the car while they detained his father. Soon after Smith arrived with his gun pulled demanding him out of the car.

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“Then you see him walk this little boy behind a van and start to question him,” Webster-Cox said.

Webster-Cox says it’s a violation to question a minor without a parent present and Smith’s actions were outside of his training by the Pittsfield Township police department’s established practices, policies and customs in protecting citizen’s rights.Today the child’s mother joined civil rights activists in front of the Pittsfield municipal offices to protest against the township for not discipling Smith for his actions.

“We are tired of our children being victimized and being brutalized in our streets.”

“Let talk about the mental health of young black boys who are constantly perceived as threats where ever they go, I am a young man who has now young black boys myself,” said Attorney Darnell Barton of Barton Law.

Attorneys for the family says the father was wrong for not initially pulling over for police, in a stop that would later be deemed mistaken identity. But says the 11-year-old may forever be emotionally scarred. Money damages against Smith are being seeked.

We reached out to Pittsfield police for comment, they referred us to an Attorney. As of Tuesday afternoon, we had not received a call back.

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