June 1, 2020

Kristofer Bergh was 17 back in 2013 when Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin held him and his friends at gunpoint -- for shooting a Nerf dart out the window.

"Thanks for being here. So let's go back to that day. You were having a Nerf gun battle with your friends, as I understand, it was a tradition on the last day of school in Minneapolis or in your neighborhood. What happened?" Alysin Camerota asked.

"It was a few weeks before school was out, actually. We were split into teams and the goal is to try to hit people on the other teams. So I was coming home, dropped off by a few friends," Bergh said.

"When we were about two blocks away from my house, one of the other passengers shot a Nerf dart out the window, it was a brightly colored orange foam dart. We didn't think anything of it. A few moments later, the friend pulled up in front of my house, I got out. We had no idea at this point in time that police were following us or any of that.

"So i get out of the car, i grabbed my things, turn around. All of a sudden officers are on me with guns aimed at me, screaming at me. I can't repeat some of the things they said to me on live TV."

He goes on to describe trying not to make any sudden movements.

"They then approached the car, still with guns drawn. And asked which one of us had shot the Nerf dart. At that point, they admitted essentially that they knew it was only a Nerf dart and not more serious. Still, they made the choice to pull real guns on us."

The friend who shot the dart admitted it and was detained in the police car. Finally, the officers let them go.

"None of us were charged with any crimes. And when I was exiting the vehicle after being told that I could, one of the officers, I don't recall if it was Chauvin or the other one, they said to me that most of us will be 18 by the end of the year, which means we go to 'big boy jail.' Considering which one of us is in big boy jail now, that hasn't aged well for them."

Bergh says he is very aware that if he wasn't white, it would have gone differently. He posted on Facebook that his whiteness saved him from a worse fate.

"They told my mom after the incident was over that we had been trying to elude them, which is preposterous since we didn't know they were behind us. They didn't use sirens or anything. I think if we were not white, they would have spun that into the narrative. When I got out of the car after supposedly eluding them, you know, they would have seen that as a threat. And it would have been crafted in a different way. Many people would probably be saying it was justified," he said.

"I know that you filed a report because that was such, you felt, an excessive response for the firing of a Nerf gun. They called you and said they couldn't tell you what the result of the report was but they acknowledged that you filed one," Camerota said.

"We reached out to the police department and we were directed to the district attorney's office. We reached out to former officer Chauvin's attorney and haven't gotten a response."

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