Florida family sues after video surfaces of police handcuffing 8-year-old at school

National

A Florida family is suing after a video surfaced showing the arrest of an 8-year-old boy at an elementary school.

Police said the child, whom the family says has special needs, was accused of punching a teacher in a 2018 incident in Key West, Florida. The video began circulating on social media this week.

Body camera video shows the child crying as he was handcuffed.

“He was so small the cuffs fell off his wrists!” civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said in a tweet. “Unbelievable!!”

Crump, who is representing the boy’s family, provided the video, which shows Key West police officers trying to arrest the 64-pound, 3.5-foot-tall boy only to realize the handcuffs were too big for him.

According to the police report, the teacher, who is not the boy’s normal teacher, claimed the boy punched her in the chest. The report said the teacher did not sustain any “obvious injuries.”

The boy was taken to a juvenile detention center and charged with felony battery, a charge that has since been dismissed.

The 8-year-old’s family said the boy takes medication for ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, depression and anxiety, and he can become sensitive to touch. They said the school was aware of his disabilities.

The family is suing the three officers for excessive force, the school officials for failing to intervene, the city of Key West and the school district for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Where’s the decency, where’s the humanity. Where is the concern?” asked Crump. “That is somebody’s child. All those adults would never allow that to happen to their child, but for whatever reasons, they said, it’s fine to do it to this little boy.”

The Key West police chief told the Miami Herald that the officers involved did nothing wrong and followed standard operating procedures.

The Monroe County School District declined to comment, and the elementary school did not respond to a request for comment.

The teacher was not able to be reached.

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