Video released on August 10 shows police officers in Key West, Florida, detaining and attempting to handcuff an 8-year-old boy whose hands were too small for the restraints after an incident at his elementary school on December 14, 2018.
Police body-cam video released by Ben Crump Law, the attorney representing the boy and his family, on August 10 shows officers telling the boy he’s going to jail, patting him down, and attempting to handcuff him before taking him out to a patrol car.
News reports said the boy hit a teacher after she reprimanded him for not sitting quietly in the lunchroom and forcibly moved him to a different seat. The boy was charged with felony battery, his attorney said.
“At eight years old, three and a half feet tall, and 64 lbs., this little boy didn’t pose a threat to anyone. He had an IEP [Individualized Education Program] in place because his disabilities demanded special support by his school — a plan intended to make sure his educational experience was appropriate for him. Instead of honoring and fulfilling that plan, the school placed him 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 police, who threatened him with jail and tried to put him in handcuffs, which fell off because he was too little. 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,” Crump said in a statement.
Crump is representing the boy’s mother in a federal lawsuit to be filed this week against the Key West Police Department and the Monroe County School District, according to local media. Credit: Ben Crump Law via Storyful