Shocking police body cam footage shows how officers put hand handcuffs on a five-year-old boy after he ran away from school – and then talked about beating him.
The video is newly-released as part of a lawsuit filed by the boy’s family, which claims the child suffered ‘severe and extreme emotional distress’ during the incident on January 14 in Montgomery County, Maryland.
In the clip, a male officer can be seen screaming in the face of the crying child before putting him in handcuffs in front of his mother. He also calls the boy a ‘violent little thing’ while a female officer can be heard saying ‘Oh my God, I’d beat him so bad’, and repeatedly suggests he should be ‘spanked’.
The footage has fueled outrage and has led to calls for the officers involved to be suspended or sacked. The unnamed officers remain in their jobs, according to a Montgomery County Police Department statement, who added that an internal investigation into the incident has been completed and the findings will remain ‘confidential’.
The footage, released on Friday, showed the moment two MCPD officers responded to a call from East Silver Spring Elementary School about a child who ran away from the school.
The hour-long video reveals how officers found the child leaning against a car in a residential area.
The body cam recorded the male officer speaking to the child and saying: ‘You feel like you can make your own decisions? Are you an adult? Are you 18? So why are you out of school?
‘I don’t care if you don’t want to go to school. You do not have that choice, do you understand?’
The video then shows the officer grabbing the child’s arm as the child then starts to scream and cry. A female school employee, who also appears in the footage then offers to ride in the police car with him back to school.
The male officer then puts the child in the backseat of a police vehicle and says, ‘You better stop. I don’t want to hear it’, as the boy continues to cry and says ‘I don’t want to go’.
A female officer, who is also on camera then says: ‘Does your mother spank you? … She’s going to spank you today. I’m going to ask her if I can do it.’
As the officers arrive back at the school with the boy, the video shows the child wailing when the male police officer picks him up and puts him in a chair.
‘Shut that noise!’ the female officer can be heard yelling on camera.
The male officer then calls him a ‘violent little thing’.
The video also picks up the officers repeatedly discussing how the child should be disciplined saying he needs ‘whoopings’ and ‘spanking’.
Near the end of the clip, the child is handcuffed in front of his mother, who arrived at the school after being called in by a staff member.
As he handcuffs the boy, the male officer says: ‘When you get older, when you want to make your own decisions, you know what’s going to be your best friend? These right here.
‘These are for people who don’t want to listen and don’t know how to act. Is that how you want to live your life?’
The child’s family filed a lawsuit in January against the police officers involved in the incident, the county, and the Montgomery County Board of Education.
The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and claims the child suffered ‘severe and extreme emotional distress’ following the incident.
The document describes the officers’ conduct as ‘malicious, grossly negligent, reckless and in deliberate disregard of the emotional stress it would inflict on the child’.
Speaking to ABC News, Matthew Bennett and James Papirmeister, the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, said: ‘Our client, Shanta Grant, brought this lawsuit on behalf of her then five-year old son in an effort to get justice and fair compensation for the trauma he endured.
‘She also hopes that the incident will lead to changes in policy and training, both with the school and the police.’
Montgomery County Public Schools Board President, Brenda Wolff, and Superintendent, Jack Smith, also released a statement on Friday and said: ‘Our heart aches for this student. There is no excuse for adults to ever speak to or threaten a child in this way.’
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