A 10-year-old African-American child broke down in tears last week after being arrested and sent to jail for urinating behind his mother’s car.
Cops in Senatobia, a Mississippi town just south of Memphis, have since apologized for the incident – with the local sheriff now calling the actions of the arresting officer an “error in judgment”.
The child’s mother, Latonya Eason, said the August 10 arrest could have been easily avoided and the responding officer went too far in taking her son Quantavious to jail.
She said she was on her way to her lawyer’s office when her son committed the public indecency offense – which usually only warrants a ticket – and was inside when the anonymous cop entered to tell him what his son had done.
The furious mother said the officer was initially going to let the child go with a warning, but changed his mind once more cops arrived on the scene. A lieutenant reportedly asked the cops to take him away to be hit with a restraining order for being left unattended.
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Quantavious, a 10-year-old boy from Mississippi, was arrested by Senatobia police last week after he was caught urinating behind his mother’s car
The incident left the pre-teen in tears, after he was swarmed by police and separated from his mother so she could fill out paperwork to get him out of custody.
Eason spoke about the incident this week with FOX 13 Memphisremembering how, less than 10 minutes after entering his lawyer’s office for legal advice, the first officer on the scene interrupted the meeting to tell him what his son had done.
“I was like, ‘Son, why did you do this?
She told the outlet how her son, who had not yet been arrested at the time, explained how he decided to relieve himself after his sister – who was also in the car – told him that the legal office had no bathroom.
“He said, ‘Mom, my sister said they don’t have a bathroom there,'” Eason told the outlet, adding that she was planning at that time to discipline the child herself.
“I was like, ‘You knew better, you should have come and asked me if they have a bathroom,'” she recalled.
She said that at first the then alone officer seemed to be on the same page.
“He was like, ‘Since you handled him like a mom, then he could just get back in the car,'” she said of what the officer allegedly told her.
She said her tone quickly changed when several other officers, including an unnamed superior, arrived on the scene.
Eason told the station that was when the senior officer, an unnamed lieutenant, said the boy needed to go to jail so the officer could file a complaint against him – due to both the delinquent act and the fact that he had not been supervised.
The child’s mother, Latonya Eason, is now expressing her outrage, telling local media how the August 10 arrest could have been easily avoided and that the responding officer was wrong.
She said she had a meeting at this law office at 216 S Ward Street, before the unnamed agent walked in and was taken to the facility’s parking lot, where her son was waiting. More cops would eventually arrive, before arresting the youngster
After a lieutenant at the scene insisted that Quantavious be brought in and separated from his mother while officers completed the necessary child protection paperwork, city police chief Richard Chandler called the actions a its agents of error.
The removal saw the child – who was not handcuffed but was taken away in a police cruiser – hit by a child in need of service, which will see the city’s juvenile court step in to help Eason deal with the youth without incarcerating him, the cops said.
Still, the lieutenant insisted that Quantavious be brought in and separated from his mother while officers completed the necessary child protection paperwork – something city police chief Richard Chandler has since called a mistake.
“We would like to address a recent incident involving the arrest of a 10-year-old child,” he said in a statement sent Monday.
“In situations like these, the Youth Court Act outlines how officers can deal with minors in encounters with law enforcement.
‘The Juvenile Court Act allows officers to file a referral against a child as young as 7 if they need supervision (which can also be based on delinquent acts), or 10 if’ he is committing acts that would be illegal for an adult in the same circumstances (i.e. a ‘delinquent’ act),’ he explained.
“The need to transport children from a scene depends on a variety of factors and the availability of reasonable alternatives.”
Chandler – who was named Mississippi First Responders’ 2021 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – said: ‘In these circumstances, it was an error of judgment for us to transport the child to the station. police since the mother was present at the time as a reasonable alternative”
“In this situation,” he said, the anonymous arresting officer “personally witnessed a 10-year-old child commit an act in public that would have been illegal for an adult under the circumstances.”
“The officer did not observe any relatives at the scene during the first contact. The mother ended up at a nearby business soon after and was told that her child was going to be sent to juvenile court over the matter.
“Officers then transported the 10-year-old to the police station to complete the paperwork where the child was handed over to his mother. The child was not handcuffed during this incident.
Chandler – who was named Mississippi First Responders’ 2021 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – added: ‘In these circumstances, it was an error of judgment for us to transport the child to the station. police since the mother was present at the time as a reasonable alternative.
“Mistakes like this are a reminder in this profession of the continuous need for training and refresher training on the various subjects we encounter every day.”
The admission of guilt, in addition to failing to satisfy Quantavious’s outraged mother, appeared to contradict the officer’s statement just before, in which he said police did not see a relative at the scene.
Quantavius, meanwhile, remains traumatized, tearfully telling the Fox affiliate this week, “I started to cry a little bit. They took me there and took me out of the truck. I didn’t know what was going on.
“I’m scared and I’m starting to shake and think I’m going to jail.”
Her mother, however, is angrier – although she has yet to announce any plans regarding pursuing legal action against the department over the disturbing incident.
“No, the fact that he urinates in the parking lot was not good, but at the same time, I handled it like a parent,” she told the station, growing emotional.
“And for one officer to tell my baby to get back in the car like everything is fine and the other one pulls over and takes him to jail. Like no,’ Eason told WHBQ.
‘I’m just speechless right now. Why would you arrest a 10 year old.