05-02-2005, 03:48 PM
5-Year Old Handcuffed By Police
5-year old Handcuffed By Police For Tantrum
An investigation is underway as to whether police officers over-reacted while controlling a kindergarten student who was throwing a temper tantrum.
A videotape of the March 14th incident at Fairmount Park Elementary School is being reviewed by the school district and law enforcement.
The tape shows the child mis-behaving for several minutes, including ripping papers, standing on desks, and defiantly responding to teachers. She is even seen throwing punches at an assistant principal.
It also shows the girl apparently calming down before three police officers approach her, pinning her arms behind her back and handcuffing her as she screams, “No!”
John Trevena, the attorney for the girl and her family, says he cannot understand why police took such drastic action.
He says, “The police officers’ actions are way over the top. Three police officers having to forcibly handcuff a 5-year-old little girl? I mean, come on. Is there anything more that needs to be said about that?”
Trevena also critizes the actions of school officials who he says did not do enough to defuse the situation.
“I’m concerned that the educators shadowed and hovered around the young girl. It certainly gives credence to the argument that they may have been provoking her to act out more. To me, it didn’t look like a de-escalation. It looked like an escalation, an attempt to get her to act out more. I just don’t understand why they didn’t distance themselves back further and allow things to cool off.”
The tape shows the child appearing to calm down before three officers approach, pin her arms behind her back and put on handcuffs as she screamed, “No!”
Trevena says it’s unbelievable police officers would bend a child over a table to forcibly handcuff her.
The tape cuts off just after the child starts screaming.
No charges are filed against the girl, but Trevena promises legal action against the police department.
Authorities are not commenting, pending a two-week internal investigation.