A harrowing video of police officers trying to handcuff a traumatized eight-year-old boy in his elementary school and telling him that he is going to jail surfaced on Monday, leaving everyone shocked. The incident occurred at a Florida school in late 2018 but came to light only on Monday after high-profile civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump took to Twitter to make the shocking video public.
The news comes just at a time when the United States is witnessing countrywide protests calling for the end of police brutality. The recent video is just another example of insensitive behavior by the police, who have been in the line of fire lately for the way they handle suspects.
The bodycam footage from the December 14, 2018, incident shows two cops in front of the sitting child at Gerald Adams Elementary in Key West, Florida. One of the officers can be seen patting the boy down and telling him that he is going to jail. The officers even frisk him and ask him to put his hands behind his back while one tries to handcuff him.
However, one of the officers eventually tells the boy it's "not worth it" and he is told that his hands are too small for the cuffs. The traumatized boy can be seen crying and clueless about what is happening. A teacher is seen coming to the boy and comforting him before he is escorted out of the school. According to the arrest report, the boy's teacher said the child was not sitting properly in his cafeteria bench seat.
The video posted by Crump on Sunday night so far has garnered more than 1.1 million views. 'Unbelievable!! @KWPOLICE used "scared straight" tactics on 8yo boy with special needs. He's 3.5 ft tall and 64 lbs, but they thought it was appropriate to handcuff and transport him to an adult prison for processing!! He was so small the cuffs fell off his wrists!' he tweeted.
Not a Criminal
The video ends with the boy being led by the officers from the school to the police vehicle. However, the boy reportedly is a special needs student with an individualized education plan due to his disabilities. He had reportedly punched a teacher in the chest and was arrested on a felony battery charge.
Although he wasn't finally put in an adult's prison, the incident left him traumatized as he was sent to a juvenile remand home. The incident of the video, which so long was with the boy's mother, has now drawn widespread criticism after being made public. "At eight years old, three and a half feet tall, and 64 [pounds], this little boy didn't pose a threat to anyone," Crump said in a statement.
Crump is scheduled to hold a press conference today his intention to file a civil lawsuit against the officers involved in the incident, along with school officials, the city of Key West and the Monroe County School District. Crump is also the attorney representing the family of George Floyd, an African-American, who died in a police chokehold after a former Minneapolis Police Department officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.