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Yet Another Case of Police Using Excessive Force Against a Young Child

CrimJustice

It seems that so many problems that happen between police and citizens occur in communities or groups that officers are not trained to properly deal with. Examples, many of which we have written about, include the young, the very old, or the mentally handicapped. Once again, police seem to have used excessive force when taking a 6-year old girl into custody in Orlando Florida. The incident was caught on tape.

A Shocking Video

The tape first shows the child’s hands being restrained with what are believed to be zip ties. Scared and confused, the girl asks what the zip ties are for. It does not appear that the girl was resisting arrest, or doing anything that would warrant the use of the restraints. She is heard immediately crying and pleading “no, please,” as she is led to the police car; an understandable reaction from such a young child in this kind of situation.

The tape was made by a second officer at the scene, who had a body camera that taped the incident.

The girl was being “arrested” for kicking a school staff member earlier that day. The school principal had actually requested that the girl not be arrested, instruction that was, apparently ignored.

Incredibly, that was actually the arresting officer’s second arrest of a young child that very day, having arrested a 6-year old boy earlier. The arresting officer has since been fired from his job.

Problems in the System

Many schools do not even use full time, or fully trained and “on the job” police officers. The arresting officer here was part of an Officer Reserve Program, which is staffed by retired police officers. He had previously served as an officer for 23 years.

The Orlando police department said that it was instituting new procedures for the arrests of children under the age of 12, including requiring that officers get permission from supervisors before conducting an arrest on young children.

Even the State Attorney for Orange County, where Orlando is located, said that she did not approve of the officer’s actions.

Handling Children Requires Special Care

Treatment of children, especially very young children, must be handled differently than how an adult, or even a teenager would be handled. Conduct that would be acceptable for an adult, can be excessive force when applied to a very young child.

Because children age and mature at different rates—one 12 year old may be very immature, and another may be wise and worldly, while one may be scrawny and another may be built like a small adult—it is inappropriate for police to use a “one technique fits all” approach when it comes to children. The use of excessive force on children can compromise their development, as well as creating lifelong hostility between the child, the community and law enforcement.

Contact the Alabama police misconduct attorneys at Lasseter Law Firm today to discuss getting help if you have been a victim of wrongful arrest, wrongful prosecution, or any other kind of police misconduct.

Resource:

nytimes.com/2020/02/27/us/orlando-6-year-old-arrested.html

https://www.lasseterlaw.com/suing-police-departments-for-failure-to-train-officers/

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