By WCCO-TV Staff

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) — A Twin Cities mother is accusing Maplewood police of racism after they handcuffed her 16-year-old son, two 12-year-olds and a 10-year-old Monday night.

A video posted to social media shows the moment that handcuffs were removed from the children. One of them, a young girl, is shown crying.

The incident happened after a resident called police to report hearing three gunshots fired immediately after he saw four juveniles near his home.

Officers found four kids near the scene and detained them. Police say it was about 40 minutes until they determined they weren’t the same four seen by the 911 caller.

(credit: Facebook)

Some of the children’s mothers say their kids were arrested and held for much longer, like two-and-a-half hours. One of those mothers is Toshira Garroway, founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence.

“It may seem small to them, putting kids in handcuffs and throwing them in the back of their car might seem small to them, but this could go on with them, they could think about this for the rest of their life,” Garroway said.

Lt. Joe Steiner with Maplewood police defended his department’s actions.

“Our officers acted very professionally and how we would expect them to act. And again we’re proud of the work and the response in this incident,” Steiner said.

Police say their version of what happened is backed up by body camera footage that has yet to be released. While the four kids involved were let go, police say they are still looking for the other group of four young people.