A Washington, D.C., police officer is under investigation after he was captured on video handcuffing a 9-year-old boy for leaning on a car, NBC Washington reports.
The child’s mother, Autumn Drayton, says the incident began when her son was leaning against a car and the officer asked him to move, the report says. Her son, whose name was not released because he is a minor, then called the officer a slur and ran.
Video shows the young boy running away from an officer at the corner of 14th and Girard streets in Northwest, when the officer apprehended him and cuffed the sobbing child.
The child was not charged, and was released to a parent. Drayton is upset about the handling of the incident, which she learned about from a family member—not the police.
“I was devastated. I was devastated. I was traumatized for my son having to go through that,” Drayton told Fox 5 DC. “His use of force was unnecessary. My son was not a threat. He was not committing a crime. He was not harming anyone. It should have never been to that.”
When Fox 5 DC reached out to the police department on Tuesday to ask if their actions were justified, officials said every case is different.
“It just depends on whether the officer feels that there is a threat or what situation led up to,” Metropolitan Police Department Patrol Chief Lamar Greene said. “We have juveniles that are involved in all sorts of different activities within the city. Certainly, we will get to the bottom of this.”
The incident prompted officials to review police practices as they relate to children. Attorney General Karl A. Racine on Wednesday said the review will look into “how the department deals with children” and will compare it to other departments.