Investigation looking into viral video of Colorado officer accused of racism

BOULDER, Colorado -- The Boulder police officer who called for backup on a man for picking up trash outside his own home is on administrative leave and an internal investigation of the incident is underway.

The officer saw the man in a patio area behind a private property sign at a university housing complex Friday morning and asked if the man was allowed to be there.

Video of the incident has gone viral and has some accusing the officer of racial bias because the man is black, but the officer is white.

The video shows the man telling police he lived and worked there, as he handed over his student identification. Naropa University has confirmed the man is a student there.

The officer can later be heard ordering the man put down a trash collecting device, which the officer referred to as a weapon.

The officer pulled out his gun when the man refused to put down that device, then called for backup. Several other officers arrived, one with a shotgun drawn.

The man repeatedly told the officers he lived in the building, and refused commands to sit down.

The video goes on for more than 15 minutes until the officers returned the man's identification card to him and left.

The Bolder Police Department released a statement saying that the officer's actions will be reviewed by a panel of six community members and six members of the police department.

You can read the full statement here.

* Follow us on YouTube
* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.