Video emerged on Monday of police officers trying to handcuff an 8-year-old boy at his Florida elementary school during a 2018 arrest.
The newly-revealed bodycam footage shows two Key West cops telling the sobbing boy that he’s “going to jail.” One of the officers has the child put his hands up against a filing cabinet as he frisks him.
Another cop, who isn’t seen on-camera, appears to say something about the cuffs not fitting and the others agree. They then tell the boy to keep his hands in front to him as they walk him outside the school.
Police were called to the school, Gerald Adams Elementary, on Dec. 14, 2018 after the child allegedly punched a teacher in the chest, according to an arrest report obtained by the Miami Herald.
The teacher said the boy repeatedly refused to sit properly in his cafeteria bench seat so she asked him to take a walk with her. That’s when he allegedly struck her and said “My mom is going to beat your a–,” according to the report.
Officers arrested the boy, who was not named in the report because of his age, and charged him with felony battery. The status of the case is unclear.
The video was posted on social media by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who said he is representing the boy’s mother in an upcoming federal lawsuit against the officers, school officials, the city of Key West and the Monroe County School District.
It was not immediately clear how Crump obtained the footage.
The attorney said the child has special needs and was placed with a substitute teacher “who had no awareness or concern about his needs and who escalated the situation by using her hands to forcibly move him.”
When he acted out, the teacher called the cops, Crump said, adding that this was “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,” Crump said in a statement. “This little boy was failed by everyone who played a part in this horrific incident.”
Key West Police Chief Sean T. Brandenburg told the Herald in a statement that the cops did nothing wrong and “standard operating procedures were followed.”
Source: New York Post
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