The U.S. Park Police sparked outrage last week when they handcuffed three black teenagers for selling water on the National Mall.

The three teens were detained by officers for illegally vending, Sgt. Anna Rose of the U.S. Park Police said.

“Officers placed them in handcuffs for the safety of the officers and of the individuals,” Rose said.

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen released a statement on the encounter.

“While still the same violation of selling a beverage without proper permits and licenses, I doubt we would have seen little girls in pigtails handcuffed on the ground,” he said.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton also shared some thoughts.

Many people online took a similar position to Allen, saying the handcuffs were too much for teens merely selling water.

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