US police arrests special needs boy, 8, for allegedly hitting teacher but his wrists too small for cuffs – Mothership.SG | #teacher | #children | #kids

Police officers in Florida arrested a boy, who was eight years old then, in a school after he allegedly hit his teacher.

Bodycam footage of the arrest was released

The arrest was made in 2018, according to CNN, but a bodycam footage was released on Aug. 10, 2020 by American civil rights attorney, Ben Crump.

Crump is also representing the boy’s mother, who had filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against the school district, the city, the officers involved, as well as the teacher and two school officials.

Here’s the video of the arrest that was uploaded onto Crump’s Twitter account:

In the video, the boy is seated and crying as three officers surround him.

One of them tells him: “Son, do you know where you’re going? You’re going to jail.”

He subsequently instructs the boy to put his hands up against a cabinet while he pats him down.

Tries to handcuff the boy

The officer then asks the boy to put his hands behind his back to handcuff him.

However, he soon realises that the boy’s wrists are too small for the cuffs.

Instead, the boy is told to hold his hands in front of his body as they walk towards a police car.

But before they approached the car, another officer said to the boy:

“You understand this is very serious, okay? I hate that you put me in this position that I have to do this. Okay? Alright?

The thing about it is you made a mistake. Now it’s time to learn from it and grow from it, right? Not repeat the same mistake again, okay?”

The police told CNN that they will not release the full bodycam footage as the boy is a juvenile.

The boy was charged with felony battery, and according to CNN, he was taken to jail, finger-printed, DNA-swabbed and had his mugshot taken on the day of the arrest.

Key West Police Chief, Sean T. Brandenburg, said in a statement, via The Miami Herald:

“Based on the report, standard operating procedures were followed.”

The boy has special needs

The boy’s mother claimed in her lawsuit that the police officers had used excessive force, and that the school officials failed to intervene in the arrest.

It was also stated that the city and school district violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the mother, her son suffers from several psychiatric conditions.

These include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiance disorder, and adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotional conduct, reported The Miami Herald.

He is also diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and was taking medication for them.

About nine months after the arrest, however, the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office dropped the charges against the boy.

They added that it was in his best interest to receive mental health treatment instead, reported New York Post.

But the boy’s family still claims that the school officials knew the boy has special needs, and should have reacted differently when he acted up.

Statement from attorney

Crump has also released an official statement regarding the case.

He described the bodycam footage as “disturbing”, explaining:

“This is a heartbreaking example of how our educational and policing systems train children to be criminals by treating them like criminals— if convicted, the child in this case would have been a convicted felon at eight years old. This little boy was failed by everyone who played a part in this horrific incident.”

Here is his full statement:

Top images from Ben Crump/Twitter.




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