DC Police Officer Faces Backlash After Handcuffing A 9-Year-Old Boy For Leaning On His Car
The incident is the third in four months regarding officers' use of force on minors in the area.
A police officer in Washington, D.C., is under investigation following a controversial viral video that depicts the authority figure chasing after and handcuffing a 9-year-old boy to the ground.
Fox 5 DC reports the police department and the child's mother agree the incident initiated after the adolescent was instructed to stop leaning on a car. He reportedly quipped a smart response to the officer who then chased him in circles around parked vehicles.
After catching the child, the officer purportedly wrestled him to the ground and handcuffed him.
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Approximately six or seven other officers can be seen and heard laughing in the background as the boy cries hysterically and wets his pants. The reaction from the boy prompts residents to question the officer's justification for arrest.
The boy was not charged for a crime and was released to a guardian following the incident.
The boy's mother, Autumn Drayton, is a law enforcement employee and argues that the interaction should have never happened. His mother was critical of the department for neglecting to contact her following the incident.
"I was devastated... I was traumatized for my son having to go through that," Drayton said." His use of force was unnecessary. My son was not a threat. He was not committing a crime. He was not harming anyone. It should have never been to that."
The child, whose face has been hidden, told the reporter that he was "scared" and "hurt" during the struggle. His mother says she found out about the incident through a family member.
She later received the video from a resident on the scene and released it to her local news station.
The incident is reportedly the third in the past four months in the D.C. area where the police have violated protocol for adolescent children.
On Tuesday, Metropolitan Police Chief Lamar Greene commented on the controversy, stating, “It just depends on whether the officer feels that there is a threat or what situation led up to. We have juveniles that are involved in all sorts of different activities within the city. Certainly, we will get to the bottom of this."
Attorney General Karl Racine publicly responded to the case in a statement on Thursday stating that the department's policies regarding minors are now under review, reports WTOP.
Racine referred to the video as “obviously concerning” and announced that his office is working with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chief Greene to resolve the issue.
“We look forward to working together with MPD and the mayor’s office to ensure District children are treated with the highest level of care and safety,” Racine added.
Fox 5 reports the current policy for officers dealing with children under 12 is first to contact the officer's supervisor as well as a representative from the Youth and Family Services division to consult about the most legal and appropriate method to complete the task. Officers have reportedly violated this order in recent months.
The arresting officer is currently under criminal investigation.
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