IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Detained Baltimore Teen Describes Feeling Like 'Caged Animal'

When Carlos Brooks Jr. was arrested during Monday’s Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore, his first brush with the law provided a lesson about defiance.
/ Source: NBC News

He is 16 years old, with no criminal record and never expected to spend two nights in jail.

Carlos Brooks Jr., one of the many teens arrested in Baltimore during the chaos of the looting on Monday night, is now out. His dad says he’s charged with looting.

He was released Wednesday, after walking into court with shackles on his ankles. He says the binding on his feet made him feel like a “caged animal.”

Brooks Jr., says he’s “not a bad kid,” when he defied his father to sneak out and see what was happening on the street. His dad, Carlos Brooks, asked him to stay home and avoid making the kinds of mistakes he had made as a kid: “I tried to teach him the better way.”

Instead, Brooks Jr., joined the crowds and saw cars on fire and ”people throwing rocks at the police.” He recalls “a lot of commotion, loud noises … It was just chaos everywhere.”

Brooks Jr. is due back in court in a month and can’t discuss his case, but can describe what it was like to be in custody.

He calls jail, “Dirty, trifling. A place you don't want to be.” While there, he thought a lot about his dad, and worried Gray’s death in police custody would be on his father’s mind. Brooks Jr. appreciates that his dad is always trying to guide him, and knows that most kids in his community “don’t even know their father.”

The next time his father offers this Baltimore teen some advice he says he’ll take it.