JACKSON, Mich. — The Jackson Police Department is accused of racially profiling a teenager who says he was simply trying to break up a fight.
His family is hoping the arrest doesn't derail his plan to attend college on a football scholarship this fall.
Cyaire Johnson says he was trying to defend another teen on Saturday, but he was the one who ended up in the back of a police car in handcuffs.
"I seen a bunch of kids on the corner and they were about to jump another kid. So I went down there and tried to break it up, but when I went down there, the police had pulled around the corner and all the kids had ran," he said.
Cyaire says his problems started when the fight ended and the victim's father went after him.
"He started approaching me trying to get aggressive and the police told me to stay back when I wasn't moving," said Cyaire.
Cyaire said the man continued to pursue him so he asked the man to stop arguing.
That's when he was arrested and ticketed for disorderly conduct.
"He told me I could go to jail for being disorderly, but then when my dad showed up, he told my dad that I was the only one that was cooperating after all the other kids had ran off," Cyaire said.
"I feel because he's 18, a young black male with a little fro, that 'we don't care what you have to say, we don't care what's going on, we're going to give you a ticket, we're going to get you in our system,'" said Phillip Johnson, Cyaire's father.
The 18-year-old is worried about how this could impact his plans down the road.
"I was just thinking about my future because I'm going to college on a football scholarship so I didn't know what could happen or what would happen," said Cyaire.
The Johnsons say they're planning to fight the ticket in court.
"I had to tell him, 'I'm proud of what you did. You did right, but from now on, just stay away because you're trying to do right, but you're treated like a criminal,'" said Phillip.
"At the end of the day, I just want to help my community, make my community a better place. All these shootings and violence that's happening, I don't want that in my community," said Cyaire.
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