Giving up the handcuffs, the policeman told the boy to put his hands in front of him as they escorted him to the police car parked outside.
“You understand this very seriously, okay? I hate that you put me in this position and that I have to do this, okay? ”Said a second officer.
The boy’s 2018 arrest for allegedly beating a teacher at Key West, Fla., His school, received new attention on Monday when full-camera footage of the incident by a lawyer Ben Crump posted on Twitter. The two-minute clip has earned over 2 million views as of early Tuesday.
“Unbelievable !!”; Crump tweeted. “@KWPOLICE used the ‘frank fear’ tactic with the 8yo boy with special needs.”
The Key West Police Department defended the behavior of its officers in a brief statement.
“Based on the report, standard operating procedures have been followed,” Chief West Police Chief Sean T. Brandenburg told the Miami Herald.
Amid major protests this year, interactions between police and minors have attracted more and more scrutiny. Last week, the police were in Aurora, Colo. Apologized after the policemen ordered 4 black children to lie on their faces, handcuffing them after crashing their car. In February, footage of an Orlando policeman arresting a 6-year-old girl using a zip tie caused outrage across the country. This officer was fired for violating the policy.
The boy Key West, who was not publicly identified because he was a minor, was arrested December 14, 2018 at Gerald Adams Elementary School, according to an arrest report reviewed by the Miami Herald.
Police said the incident started when a teacher noticed the boy was not sitting properly at the lunch table. When the teacher asked him to sit next to her, she said he refused and said, “Don’t put your hand on me.”
It was reported that the teacher took the boy for a walk, in which he was said to have cursed her and punched her. She then took him to the office, where Officer Michael Malgrat, who wrote the report, said the boy “clenched his fist into fists and posture as if ready to fight.”
But Crump says the boy with emotional and behavioral disabilities was neglected in the incident. Despite having a personalized education program, the school ranked him with a substitute teacher “who was not aware of or disinterested in his needs,” Crump said in a press release. Crump accused the teacher of “having escalated the situation by raping him with his hands.”
Crump also called the video of the arrest “disturbing”. At one point, when an officer was about to handcuff the boy, another warned him that the boy’s wrists might be too small. A third officer could be heard telling the boy that it was his fault that the police had to arrest him.
The video later showed the boy being escorted into a police car. The boy was taken to a juvenile justice facility in Key West, Herald reported. Crump said he was later charged with a felony battery. It is not clear how the case was resolved.
The boy’s lawyer claimed the police used the tactic of “straight fear”, a type of program designed to warn minors to stay away from future criminal activity by emphasizing the following. serious results. Such programs have long attracted the scrutiny of child advocates, who say dehumanizing and intimidating students is ineffective.
“This boy is not threatening anyone,” said Crump.
Crump said he plans to file a federal lawsuit on Tuesday on behalf of Bianca N. Digennaro, the boy’s mother, against the officers, school officials, Monroe County School District and the City of Key West.
The Monroe Count School District and the City of Key West have yet to comment on the incident.
“This is a heartbreaking example of how our education and police systems train children to become criminals by treating them like criminals,” Crump said. “This boy was defeated by everyone who played a role in this horrible incident.”