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Teen says he was wrongly handcuffed by Duluth Police in front of friends' home

11Alive is still waiting on a statement from the Duluth Police Department.

DULUTH, Ga. — A local teen said he was wrongfully handcuffed by Duluth Police after he dropped a friend's sister off at home.

Fousseyni Sissoko picked up Stephanie Viloria from her job around 10 p.m. Wednesday and dropped her off at her Duluth home. As they usually do, they hung out in the house, with Stephanie's brother, Juan Viloria, who had just arrived in his white Ford F-150.

About 20 minutes, later they said goodbye. Sissoko, 19 years old, walked to his black Volkswagen, turned it on, and drove a couple of feet away from the home when he said police officers started pointing flashlights his way.

"At the time, I didn't know there were guns behind that flashlight," he said in an exclusive story with 11Alive. "They tell me 'hey, stop your car. Put your hands outside the window.' They told me to unlock the car, I get out, they said to put my hands up and face the car. I get on my knees and they put me in 'cuffs."

In the meantime, Stephanie who was inside her home, saw lights coming from outside her window.

"I look out and there's this cop with a big gun hanging around his torso that's the size from like shoulder to his hip. It's the size of his whole torso," Stephanie said.

According to the police report sent to 11Alive by Duluth Police, the officer "drew [his] duty pistol and when the vehicle approached, [he] aimed it at the driver of the vehicle, finger off the trigger, and began giving loud verbal commands to the driver to stop the vehicle and show his hands."

"I just listened to them because that's what my father always told me," said Sissoko. "If you have any problem like that just listen to them."

When Stephanie noticed this, she called her brother and parents, who quickly walked outside to speak with the officers.

That's when police notified them that a neighbor had called in to say that "several Black males, a Hispanic male and a white female had exited a black Volkswagen station wagon and were trying to break into a white Ford F150," not knowing that they are all friends, and that the vehicle belongs to Juan.

"I was the one identified as the white woman and my brother was the Hispanic male," said Stephanie. "I think it was more on fault of the person that called because they're the ones who had the racist tendencies and said 'OK, a Black man with a Hispanic man and a white woman, something bad is going to happen. Automatically. So let me call the police.'"

Sissoko said he was handcuffed for about four minutes, until Juan was able to speak to the officers.

"As soon as I saw him in handcuffs I freaked out," said Juan. "I kind of raised my voice at the cop. I said 'no, man. This is my truck'. As soon as I told the cop that, his demeanor changed. They realized they had messed up."

Sissoko said it took about 15 minutes to get solved, but believes that had the Vilorias not walked out to speak to the officers, he could've ended up in jail. 

"They didn't tell me I was being detained," he said. "They didn't read me any rights or anything like that. I had no clue what was going on. I was completely blindsided honestly. They didn't say sorry for wasting your time, sorry for pointing a gun to your face, nothing like that."

That's what they want now: a proper apology. They also say they want to sit down and talk about this with Gwinnett County Sheriff Keybo Taylor so that this doesn't happen again to someone else.

"If he would've made one wrong movement, we would've heard the gunshot and that's when we would've noticed that something bad is happening," added 18-year-old Stephanie. "He would've been dead and it would've been too late when we explain to the cop that he's our friend. Then what would've happened? What could he have done? What could we have done? Nothing."

11Alive is still waiting on a statement from the Duluth Police Department.

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