The video shows the boy being held against a wall as he’s searched by officers who tell him to put his hands behind his back.
The officer trying to put the child in handcuffs eventually realizes the kid’s wrists are too small for the restraints, then he gives up.
The lawsuit claims the officers acted with excessive force, school officials and officers failed to intervene, and the school and city district failed to accommodate the boy’s disability, along with failing to properly train its employees. The result was an “embarrassment, humiliation, and psychological injury that manifested itself physically, some or all of which may be permanent,” the lawsuit says.
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! pic.twitter.com/iSTlXdKas6
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 10, 2020
“It is just unfathomable that somebody thought this was appropriate. Why would you do that to a child? He’s biracial, and you just say, ‘Why? Why were they picking on this kid?” Crump said.
“We’re here because some authorities in the school and within the police department in Key West, Florida, felt that it was appropriate to arrest and charge an 8-year-old child who was 64 pounds, 3.5 feet tall with a felony because he was having a mental illness crisis,” Crump said.
Politician Julián Castro shared the video Monday on Twitter and expressed outrage.
“Unbelievable. Police in Key West tried to put an 8-year-old boy in handcuffs and transport him to jail to ‘scare him straight,’” said Castro, who is the former mayor of San Antonio and who also ran for president in 2020.
Police in Key West tried to put an 8-year-old boy in handcuffs and transport him to jail to “scare him straight.”
Police should have no role in punishing our kids or pulling traumatic stunts like this in our schools. pic.twitter.com/2gFzHlvwLL
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 10, 2020
“Police should have no role in punishing our kids or pulling traumatic stunts like this in our schools,” he tweeted.
The incident happened in December 2018 in Key West at Gerald Adams Elementary.
Officials in Key West are prohibited from releasing the full-length video because of laws in Florida, so the video clip looks to be related to a new lawsuit.
“Based on the report, standard operating procedures were followed,” Key West Police Chief Sean T. Brandenburg said.
Officers were called into the school after the boy allegedly “punched” a teacher in the chest.
“The teacher did not sustain any obvious injuries as a result of the punch,” the police report states.
“The boy was taken into police custody and transported to the Monroe County Detention Center to be processed,” the report stated.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.