In newly released body cam footage, Maryland police officers are seen screaming in a 5-year-old’s face, placing a handcuff on him, and berating him for acting up in school.
The incident took place in January 2020, but at the request of Maryland Councilmen Will Jawando, the body cam video has just recently been released.
The body cam footage begins with two black Montgomery County police officers, one male and the other female, finding the kindergartner hiding behind a car because he reportedly wondered off of school grounds.
The male officer talks to the boy very aggressively about him not being in school and him not being old enough to decide that he doesn’t want to go to school.
The officer eventually takes the boy back to his squad car and demands he gets in, the boy is visibly scared and he doesn’t move.
The officer picks the boy up and put him in his squad car, and the boy immediately starts crying.
I believe he thought he was going to jail.
When they arrive at the school the officers berate the child about his behavior calling him bad and asking the teachers how they deal with him.
The video footage shows that the officers stayed at the school and talked to school employees until the mom showed up.
Prior to the mom showing up the school employees tell the officers about the boy putting his hands on other students and a teacher and him breaking a computer.
The officers start berating the boy some more about his bad behavior causing him to start crying again.
The footage shows the female officer screaming in the boy’s face as if she is trying to show him how annoying his crying sounds to her.
She can also be heard calling him “a little beast” on the footage.
When the boy’s mom shows up she greats the officers and the school officials and she immediately starts taking the boy’s shirt off to show the officers that she is not abusing him.
The officers reassures her that she can legally beat her child as long as she doesn’t leave marks or do bodily harm to him.
The mom replies that she thought she heard someone on the phone when the school called her imply that she was abusing her son and that’s why she was trying to show that he didn’t have any marks on his body.
She also told them in a prior incident the school principal and an Ethiopian faculty member told her that she could not beat her son.
The officers told her “We want you to beat him” because his behavior warrants it.
The mom is very receptive to the officers suggestions and she begins to go into detail about her struggles with her son to the point where the male officer suggest they go to a private room because he felt like she was exposing too much of her personal business.
Inside the room the officers continue to listen to the mom’s struggles and suggest that she disciplines him and not worry about being arrested for it.
At one point the mom begins to chastise her son about his behavior in front of the officers, and the male officer chimes in and places a handcuff on the boy in front of his mother.
You know what these are for? These are for people who don’t know how to listen and don’t know how to act.
Surprisingly, the mother doesn’t seem to take issue with the officer placing the handcuff on her son.
She appears to be very receptive to the parental advise that they are giving her.
All I can tell you is beat that a**. That’s all I can tell you.
You can beat your child in Montgomery County, Maryland. In front of him and everybody else you can beat him.
And please don’t leave no cuts or crazy cigarette burns, nothing like that. We’re good, alright? Meeting adjourned.
The mother is seen on the footage clapping hands with one of the officers at the end of the conversation.
The boy’s mother is now suing Montgomery County, the two officers, and the county’s board of education. Her lawyers say the boy suffered emotional trauma.
The mother’s lawyer James Papirmeister emphasized the amount of times the officers told the mother to beat her son.
There is a certain way to treat a 5-year old boy. Needing to beat him, like I said, came up at least 15, perhaps 20 times.
The Montgomery County Police Department said it has investigated the incident, but the findings has not been released. The department said both officers are “still sworn officers.”
See the news report below:
See the full body cam video below:
Placing the handcuff on the boy was completely unnecessary.
Source: CBS News