A black man was cleaning up trash at his home when he was approached, questioned, and eventually detained by the Boulder Police Department earlier this month.

The department has now launched an internal investigation into the incident, video of which has gone viral and prompted outrage in the community. Per a local report from KMGH-TV, the incident occurred last Friday around 8:30 a.m. A Boulder cop approached the man in question after he saw him "in a partially enclosed patio area behind a private property sign."

Though the man explained that he lived and worked at the property, and even presented his school ID, he was still detained so the officer could "investigate further." Backup was called, with the officer claiming that he was "unwilling to put down a blunt object." That object turned out to simply be what the man was using to clean up trash. Officers ultimately returned the ID and left the property.


Footage of the incident shows one officer holding his gun. Eventually, the man urges the officer to "put your fucking gun down." The person filming the incident also remarks on the gun. "He's picking up trash and you have your hand on your gun?" he says earlier in the clip.

"In contrast to what was stated in the video that is on social media, body worn camera video indicates that only one officer had a handgun out, and it was pointed at the ground," Police Chief Greg Testa said during a Boulder City Council meeting Tuesday night. "I'm not making excuses, I'm just trying to provide some needed context in terms of that specific aspect."

A separate report from KUSA adds that the man in the video is a Naropa University student. Naropa president Charles G. Lief told the outlet the way the officers handled the situation, which reportedly occurred on university grounds, was "beyond unacceptable" and demonstrated a lack of training that could have proven dangerous.