A man says he and his family were held at gunpoint because police thought he was breaking into his own home.
It happened in Gulfport, and has started a conversation across the country.
“I get out of the car, they tell me to put my hands up, and I said what’s this about? What’s going on? Why did you guys stop me?” The homeowner, Kevin Fairley said.
Fairley says he tried to be as compliant as possible, but with so many officers approaching at once, he naturally wanted to know what was wrong. He says it’s an incident that could have easily been avoided, had police asked for his identification.
Fairley was with his wife, their three children, and their 12-year-old nephew.
A neighbor called the police, thinking someone was breaking into their home that’s under renovation.
Fairley ordered out of the car, and says he was treated like a criminal from the beginning. He got out hands up, repeatedly asking why the officers were pointing guns at him and his family.
Fairley and his wife were both handcuffed. He says at least six squad cars surrounded the family, officers allegedly approaching them with weapons drawn.
Carlos Moore it the attorney representing the family.“The police in the situation put several lives at risk. They seem to have overreacted, and the escalated the situation,” Moore said. “It could’ve been a very deadly situation. There are kids there. No one called in sick kids was breaking into a home so why would the kids held at gunpoint?”
Fairley recorded his encounter with an officer at the Gulfport police department when he tried to get clarity on the situation.
“The police officer, the sergeant was so very nonchalant about the matter and basically was very rude to the family, to Mr. Fairley, and his wife, and they tried to report it, and that is added insult to injury,” Moore said.
The family says they felt disrespected, and like the officer showed a lack of empathy or concern for what happened.
“I wasn’t really expecting this to escalate to this point. I just wanted to file a formal complaint I didn’t know I was going to be treated like a piece of trash when I went to the police department,” Fairley said.
The family’s attorney says the police chief has reached out to them about the incident.
The investigation is ongoing.