13-year-old mistakenly detained by SFPD outside school, claim says

"Our Black and Brown children do not deserve this and it really needs to stop," says the boy's mother.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The family of a 13-year-old boy says he was racially profiled by a San Francisco police sergeant and mistakenly detained right outside his school. They've now filed a claim against the city and county of San Francisco.

"Never in a million years did I think that something like this would happen with him coming out of school," said mom Dolores Coleman.

Coleman says a San Francisco police Sergeant detained her 7th grade son as he left the Sterne School on March 15 for a crime he didn't commit.

"Our Black and Brown children do not deserve this and it really needs to stop," said Coleman.

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Attorney John Burris says the 13-year-old was racially profiled by Police Sergeant Parra as he was getting into his tutor's car after school.

"There was no legitimate basis to stop this young man, only that he was Black, African American and that in itself isn't enough," said Burris.

According to Burris, Sterne school employees told the sergeant the student was in school all day, but that the Sergeant claimed he fit the description of a suspect which included black pants, a black hoody and red shoes. Burris says the 13-year-old was wearing black shoes with red shoelaces.

Michael Coleman says his son has had nightmares since the interaction.

"It's sad that he doesn't even want to wear the pair of shoes that he had on that day," said Coleman.

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The San Francisco Police Department referred ABC7 News to the City Attorney's Office.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the City Attorney's Office said, "The City strives to foster trust between law enforcement and local communities. We will review the claim and respond appropriately."

In a statement, The San Francisco Police Officers Association said, "It's no surprise that a trial attorney is looking to extract money from the City, but San Francisco police officers focus on behavior and suspect descriptions when they make stops or detain people, period. The reality is that we have too many examples of teenagers committing very serious crimes, from robberies, to carjackings to shootings, so the fact that this happened to a teenager is not relevant to the crimes we are trying to solve."

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The Sterne School sent families a message calling the incident disturbing and saying the student did nothing wrong. Also, that the school filed a complaint with the San Francisco Police Department.

The Coleman family says they are now looking at schools for their son in the North Bay.

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