Mom Shanice Stewart said she was scared of her son Brandon getting shot — and that she intends to file a complaint
A pregnant mom and her 8-year-old son were pulled over at gunpoint last week and police say it was because of a "case of mistaken identity"
Shanice Stewart, who is currently nine months pregnant, told NBC affiliate KCRA-TV that she was driving her son Brandon to football practice on Oct. 17 when she was stopped by police who were searching for a suspect.
"From a distance, officers observed a juvenile who they believed to be the wanted suspect, enter a vehicle with tinted windows," the Sacramento Police Department said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "All windows on the sides and back of the vehicle were heavily tinted. Based on the information regarding firearm history, a high-risk stop was initiated."
Stewart told CNN that she pulled her purple car to the side of the northern California freeway as the lights of a patrol car turned on behind her. Per the reports, more officers and a helicopter responded before traffic was halted.
"I listened to their instructions to toss my keys out the window, open my door with my left hand and get out slowly with my hands in the air," she told KCRA-TV. "I just followed instructions."
During an interview with ABC News, the mom said she was "scared of him getting shot."
"You don't know what to expect, especially when it's multiple officers with their guns drawn towards the car," she added.
Though Stewart asked her son to stay in the car, Brandon exited and pleaded for officers not to take her away. “I got out of the car with hands up and back turned toward the officers,” Stewart told CNN.
According to CNN, Stewart said it eventually appeared that officers realized that her son was not the person they were looking for.
"As officers were conducting the stop and the windows were rolled down, they realized the juvenile in the vehicle was not the wanted suspect, and at that point the high-risk stop was ended," police said in their statement.
The mom said police had told her that her son matched the description of a suspect they had been watching for two years, per KCRA-TV. Brandon was identified by a helicopter team flying above the family’s apartment, CNN reported.
"Really? My 8-year-old baby fits the description of the suspect you're looking for?" Stewart told KCRA-TV.
Stewart claimed that the following day, police told her the suspect they were looking for is a teenager, according to ABC News.
The department admitted the error in the statement obtained by PEOPLE, saying that an investigation into the incident is "under review."
"Our officers provided explanation and an apology to the mother and her son on scene. Our department has remained in contact with the mother and community leaders since the incident," their statement continued. "We recognize the impact that police interactions can have on our community."
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Stewart told CNN Brandon is now terrified to travel on the highway and "freezes up" when he sees a member of law enforcement. "I think it’s going to stick with him,” she said.
She's now seeking a therapist for her son, who has been unable to talk about the incident, per CNN. She also wants the department to pay for the counseling and intends to file a complaint against them.
"What kid wants to live in fear of a police officer possibly stopping him in the future and doing something to him?" she asked KCRA-TV.
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