Every so often I run across a news article describing some seemingly over-the-top law enforcement act involving a child, which invariably is described
as necessary by officials in order to "protect" either the child or others nearby. Admittedly, many of these news stories seem to make it appear
that such actions are justified. But when I began to undertake a quick review of how often such examples occur, I realized that we may be ignoring a
pretty large elephant standing in the middle of the room.
Here are just a few recent examples I quickly found. In the aggregate, they seem to suggest a sea-change in the way we are dealing with our children
10-year-old Missouri Boy Handcuffed after "Disruptive" Behavior
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO - A 10-year-old boy is back with his parents after police handcuffed him when he became combative this week at school.
Cape Girardeau police say they handcuffed the boy for his protection and that of the officer who took him to juvenile detention.
Police say the boy faces juvenile court proceedings for assault, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.
Police say the boy became disruptive after lunch on Tuesday, and swore at his principal and began punching him. When a police officer was called, the
boy began threatening and punching him.
13-year-old girl handcuffed aboard a Pinellas school bus
ST. PETERSBURG - Prosecutors have officially ruled out criminal charges against the 13-year-old girl handcuffed aboard a Pinellas school bus last
The decision came after a review of the videotape showing the Nov. 11 incident.
"We found no evidence to support criminal charges," Bruce Bartlett, chief assistant in the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office, said
The incident happened along a Safety Harbor roadside. Rolon, 43, boarded the bus after a student threw a hard object, believed to be a golf ball, out
a window. The object caused a car to swerve and nearly hit Rolon's motorcycle as he drove home from work.
A videotape from the bus shows Rolon walking to the back after Mitchell stands and shouts she was not the student he was looking for. The tape shows
Rolon twisting Ashley's arm behind her back and marching to the front.
"I don't play. ... I don't play," he says.
Rolon handcuffed Ashley to the railing in the bus stairwell and continued asking questions. A 13-year-old boy later confessed to throwing the object.
A video of the incident can be seen here.
11-year-old boy Handcuffed and Arrested, Later Released
A Joplin police officer involved in the arrest of an 11-year-old boy at an elementary school last year has been fired...
On Nov. 15 of last year, Ward went to Eastmorland Elementary to question an 11-year-old boy about an incident a few days earlier outside a Joplin
movie theater. The boy is said to have spit on Ward's son after being teased. Ward questioned the boy in the principal's office, then called Ron
Buchanan, a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer assigned to the school.
The boy was handcuffed and taken to juvenile authorities, who immediately alerted the boy's parents, saying that they had no jurisdiction over the
youth and that he was too young to have been arrested in the first place.
Continuing with another bizarre account...
8-year-old girl handcuffed in her classroom by police
According to police, the incident started Tuesday morning while an officer conducted a welfare check on the third-grade girl.
Phoenix police spokeswoman Sgt. Lauri Williams said the girl was reportedly running down the middle of a street and was almost hit by a car.
Williams said that at the request of the girl's mother, the child was handcuffed before the mother drove her to school with the officer following
Williams said Friday that she didn't have complete details about the incident but that police were conducting an investigation to see if excessive
force was used.
And this very disturbing account...
Third-grade Student Handcuffed, Drugged In School
School officials in Arizona are in trouble and parents are seething, after a third-grade girl was reportedly brought to school in handcuffs, then
forced to take pills.
"This never should have happened. This child never should have been brought into a classroom full of kids." Parents at a PTA meeting are asking some
tough questions after a third-grade girl arrives at school Tuesday in handcuffs.
Teachers watched in horror. "We saw it. We are appalled by it and that is all we could really do."
Tami Davis' little girl is still talking about it. "She told me they brought her in handcuffs, kicking and screaming, then they handcuffed her feet,
and we were told not to talk about it, and that's basically what she told me."
Students claim the little girl was so distraught, the school psychologist forced pills down her throat. "I understand medicines were used that were
totally illegal and should have never been there..."
An investigation is underway, but there is already some fallout. The principal and psychologist were placed on administrative leave.
Wait, it gets better!!!
Autistic 15-Year-Old Tasered, Arrested At Florida School
FT. MYERS, Fla. -- A school resource officer is being accused of excessive force after using a taser on an autistic student. Now, that boy's mother
says a misunderstanding has left her child confused and bruised.
Dennis is autistic and functions at the level of a six-year-old. But at 5'8" tall and 220 pounds, his mother, Susan Caliguri, said he is big but
harmless. So she was shocked to get a call from Cypress Lake High School saying he was acting out. When she got to the school, she was horrified.
"It was a nightmare. They had him handcuffed, his legs were tied, he was on the ground. They had four sheriffs on top of him. I mean, he is bruised
down his back, they were stunning him and he was already down. He couldn't do anything," she said.
Susan calls it excessive force, but the Lee County Sheriff's Office said the taser was the only way to calm him down...
School administrators said Dennis got upset after being told not to come to school one day last week. He misunderstood and thought he was in trouble
and started throwing papers.
Despite his mother's concerns, Dennis was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.
is an article that describes the following:
- On October 20 of last year, Miami-Dade county police officers used a Taser to subdue a six-year-old Pharr Elementary School student.
- May 8, a 9-year-old girl was Tasered in Arizona by a South Tucson police sergeant. Police responded to a call from the Arizona Children's Home, a
facility for special needs children.
Here are some ATS Threads on similar incidents:
NEWS: 5 Year Old Girl Arrested, Handcuffed Following Outburst
NEWS: 10 Young Students Strip-Searched in Texas
NEWS: Tuscon Police Officer uses Taser on Nine year old Girl
Update on Handcuffing of 5 Year old with Videos
Officer suspended after using taser on 13 year old girl...twice
And here is this timely article on Supreme Court Nominee Alito:
Alito defends police strip search of 10-year-old girl on warrant to search the home of a
suspected narcotics dealer.
What is going on? Again, I ask, who is out of control?
What impact do you think these events have on the children in question? What lesson do you think these events impart upon other children who witness
this type of law enforcement behavior? Is it deterrence? Or fear of the State?
As a society, how have we come to accept such law enforcement responses as appropriate for children????
Then there are these disturbing facts...
More that 100,000 children in the United States are in juvenile detention. (
In addition, over 250,000 youth are charged as adults every year
in the United States. (
Returning to the issue of juvenile detentions:
2000 youth in juvenile detention are injured each month, and nearly 1,000 per month commit suicidal acts. (
In a report released in 2004 to a U.S. Senate’s Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, it was revealed that in a six month period, nearly 15,000
incarcerated youth waited for community mental health services.
Each night, nearly 2,000 youth wait in detention for community mental health
services, representing 7% of all youth held in juvenile detention. Thousands of Children with
Mental Illness Warehoused in Juvenile Detention Centers Awaiting Mental Health Services
Oh, and when they do
get the mental health services they need, you can find dozens of stories like this one...
Abused, drugged and unprotected: Mentally ill children suffer in
At Ohio psychiatric centers, workers molested children, denied them food or gave them alcohol and drugs. Some kids suffered broken bones. Others
lived in homes so dirty they urinated on the floor by their beds.
Taxpayers shell out $160 to $1,000 a day for each mentally ill child who lives in these private treatment centers.
But a Cincinnati Enquirer investigation reveals that kids don't always get the help they're promised. Some struggle just to survive.
"You have kids secluded, restrained and injured over and over again," says Carolyn Knight, director of the Ohio Legal Rights Service, a state-funded
agency that investigates how children are treated inside facilities.
"It's like Dante's Inferno: 'Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.'"
Whether a child ends up in a troubled treatment center or one that helps is largely a gamble, state records and interviews show. A review of the 10
largest facilities statewide shows that conditions were so bad in the past three years that the government ordered three not to admit new children and
a fourth to stop putting kids in seclusion.
Are you sick to your stomach yet?
This is America!!! What are we thinking???
And then you have to recall this...
US detains children at Guantanamo Bay
...or the fact that nearly half of the states in our country have no minimum age requirement for the death penalty. (
In forty-two states and under federal law, the commission of a serious crime by children
under eighteen—indeed in some states children as young as ten—transforms them instantly into adults for criminal justice purposes. Children who
are too young to buy cigarettes legally, boys who may not have started to get facial hair, kids who still have stuffed animals on their beds, are
tried as adults, and if convicted, receive adult prison sentences, including life without parole (LWOP).
We are pathetic... What I have posted here only scratches the surface of what I found in a few short hours of research.
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CHILDREN!!! And yet, it is clear to me that so few care...
What say you? Who is out of control here? The children or us????
[edit on 25-4-2006 by loam]