A controversial TikTok video posted on Tuesday, April 20, in which two bike-riding Black men are accosted at gunpoint by police, has been viewed more than three million times.The clip, entitled “What you think happen,” was shared by @riskie_e and shows the person who posted and his friend riding their bicycles past a police car in Orlando at 11:47 p.m. Monday, when the officers suddenly pulled out their guns and shouted at them to get on the ground. The men, one of whom was wearing a GoPro camera, are visibly frightened and asked what they did wrong.
The two plead their innocence, but ultimately follow orders, lying on their stomachs, before police then tell them to crawl in the direction of the police car.
Several other videos chronicling the aftermath of the incident were also uploaded by @riskie_e, including one where he is asking the police why they are being targeted, and an officer says, “You are being detained as a part of an investigation; you match the description of two suspects.”
In another video, the man wearing the camera repeatedly affirmed their innocence, asked probing questions and explicitly stated he’s not giving the officers permission to search him.
“I mean I would like to know what’s going on,” he said. “I don’t consent to any searches or any type of seizures, cuz I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t commit no crime. I just left 7-Eleven… I don’t know what description you guys are talking about but I feel violated right now. You guys got my buddy right there crawling. I’m in cuffs. I didn’t do nothing wrong.”
At another point he invokes his fifth amendment right but relents and provides the officer his identification in the form of a passport but doesn’t budge when asked for his address. “I’m gonna invoke my fifth amendment right to remain silent, you guys got my ID. I’m not saying anything else because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Later, they were let go when police verified they were not the suspects but they were fingerprinted and held for a few hours, according to the young man filming because “they fit the description of two suspects that just committed a robbery.”
When contacted for comment, Orlando Police Department spokesperson Autumn Jones told the Orlando Sentinel that 10 minutes before the incident occurred, the officers were looking out for suspects involved in the robbery of a tourist who claimed Black men of “darker complexions” riding bicycles attacked him and stole his wallet, camera and Apple Watch, Jones said.
Jones also stated that the officers pulled out their guns because the robbery suspects had told the victim they were armed.
“They were stopped in the immediate area of the armed robbery and were detained to determine if they were the suspects responsible for the violent crime,” she told the Orlando Sentinel.
Additional videos after the incident were uploaded by @riskie_e, revealing that the victim of the robbery was brought to the scene where they were and confirmed the two young men were not the suspects.
After video of the arrest emerged online, Orlando police released body camera footage of a police officer apologizing to the men after they were released.
“I apologize that it wasn’t you, but you guys matched the description and that’s why I did what I did,” said the officer.
One of the men answered, “Honestly you cannot apologize for pulling a gun on me.”