A Maryland police department released a body camera video in which two of his officers berated a 5-year-old boy who ran away from elementary school, called him a “ little beast, ” and threatened him with beating.
The video released Friday by Montgomery County Police Department shows one of the officers yelling at the crying child repeatedly, with her face inches from his.
“Oh, my god, I’d hit him so bad,” the officer said in front of the child before saying to him, “You don’t embarrass me so much at school.”
The officers found the boy about a block from East Silver Spring Elementary School and returned him to the school on January 14, 2020, where a school administrator met. The video shows an officer forcing the crying child onto a chair in the principal’s office.
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Montgomery County Police Department found the boy about a block from East Silver Spring Elementary School and returned him to the school on January 14, 2020.
“Just keep that noise off!” the other officer shouted near the boy’s face. “I hope your mom will let me beat you.”
One of the officers took out his handcuffs and closed one of the loops around the child’s right wrist.
“When you get older, if you want to make your own decisions, do you know what your best friend will be?” an officer asks the terrified boy.
‘This one here. Do you know what these are? These are handcuffs. Do you know what they are for? Do you know what these are for? These are for people who don’t want to listen and don’t know how to behave. ‘
The video shows the officers talking to the boy when they find him at the school
They then load him into the patrol car and take him back to the school, yelling at him along the way
The officer gripped the little boy tightly as they took the boy back to the school
The boy’s mother has filed a lawsuit over the January 2020 interaction. Lawyers for the child’s mother, Shanta Grant, said the video shows the officers treating her son “as if he were a hardened criminal.” They said Grant is “seeking justice and fair compensation for the trauma he has suffered.”
“She also hopes the incident will lead to changes in policy and training, both at the school and the police force,” attorneys Matthew Bennett and James Papirmeister said in a statement.
Grant appears in the footage and at one point strips down her son to show that she does not hit him and that he is not being “ physically abused. ”
“I will not lose my child to the system and I will not go to jail,” she says in the clip.
‘Oh my God, I would hit him so bad,’ the officer said in front of the child before saying to him, ‘You don’t embarrass me so much at school’
Officers handcuffed the boy and told him he should get used to it
The video released by Montgomery County police on Friday shows one of the officers yelling at the crying child repeatedly, with her face inches from his.
“You are not going to jail for hitting your child,” an officer tells the mother.
The Washington Post reports that police and the county’s public school system declined to detail the incident, citing the mother’s ongoing lawsuit. But the school system has released a statement describing the video as “extremely difficult” to watch.
“There is no excuse for adults to ever approach or threaten a child in this way,” said the school system. “As parents and grandparents, we know that when families send their children to school, they expect staff to take care of them, keep them safe, and apply appropriate intervention processes when needed.”
A police spokeswoman told the newspaper that the two agents in the video remain employed by the department after an internal investigation.
The boy’s mother filed a lawsuit over the January 2020 interaction. Lawyers for the child’s mother, Shanta Grant, said the video shows the officers treating her son “as if he were a hardened criminal.”
“There has been a thorough investigation into the entire event,” the department said in a statement.
The boy’s mother sued Montgomery County, the county education board and the two officers. Her complaint mentions agents Dionne Holliday and Kevin Christmon, but the department has not released their names.
Police spokesman Rick Goodale said he can say no further than the department’s written statement on Friday, or that the officers are disciplined. “Those are all confidential personnel files under (Maryland) law,” he wrote in a text message to The Associated Press on Saturday.
Will Jawando, a member of the Montgomery County Council, said the video “ made me sick. ”
We all saw a little boy mocked, demoted, put in the seat of a police car and yelled at from the lungs of an adult cop, inches from his face. This is violence, ”Jawando said.
Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando said the video ‘made me sick’
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement Friday that he had ordered the county police chief to rethink training on how officers are expected to interact with children.
“Our police officers are not social workers, psychologists or therapists and are not allowed to provide advice or directions about parenting. Police duties should end as soon as school staff are on hand to take over the care of a child, ”he said.
Elrich also said he is “limited” in what he can say about the case while the mother’s lawsuit is pending and that he cannot talk about “disciplinary outcomes taken.”
The Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 released a statement about the video, saying that the incident “could have been better handled by all involved.”
“Officers were called to help the school with a child who ran away from the school staff. Obviously, the event and everything that comes after it should have been handled better by all involved, ” they said.
“It is important to note that unless an officer is assigned to a specialized unit, Montgomery County police officers are not trained to communicate effectively with a young child in need.”
The Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 released a statement about the video, stating that the incident ‘could have been better handled by everyone involved’