Neighbors call 911 on Black teen practicing ROTC drill

North Carolina

Police lights (Credit: Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Black North Carolina teenager who was practicing a ROTC routine with a replica rifle was shocked when neighbors called the police on him.

WRAL reported Wednesday that Jathan Walthour had recently joined the team at Sanderson High School in Raleigh. He decided to practice Tuesday night at about 9 p.m.

Some of the 911 calls were released. In one, a resident reports that a man was outside with a gun and “walking up and down our cul-de-sac.”

Walthour said his training from a community program called ‘Police Explorers’ had taught him how to properly handle the situation when officers arrived.

“I placed the gun down on the ground and walked away from it,” he said. “And I kept my hands visible, away from my pockets and things because the officers recommend you keep your hands where the officers can see you.”

Police have suggested that the teen practice his ROTC drills in his backyard. His family is thinking of making fliers to let neighbors know Jathan is in ROTC and not a threat.

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