Maryland police release video of 5-year-old placed in handcuffs at school

Police scolded the student for wandering away from campus in Silver Spring, Maryland after allegedly breaking a computer

Loading the player...

A Maryland police department has released body camera footage of two officers yelling at and handcuffing a five-year-old boy more than a year ago.

The footage from January 2020 has caused outrage in the community.

The police were called after the student at East Silver Spring Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland wandered away from campus. The child was later confronted by two officers of the Montgomery County Police Department, as reported by WJZ-TV.

According to NBC News, the officers were called after the child, who allegedly broke a computer, left the school. The body camera footage shows the officers approaching the child and asking his age, to which the boy responded by saying he was five.

A screenshot of body camera footage released by Montgomery County Police in Maryland showing a five-year-old child being placed in handcuffs in January 2020.

READ MORE: Black law student sues Arkansas police, says he was detained for ‘driving while Black’

One officer scolded the child for leaving the school and endangering himself by being alone.

“You feel like you can make your own decisions?” one officer asks. “You feel like you can do what you want?”

The child refused and began to cry as the officers attempted to take him back to the school. When the officers put the child in the police vehicle, he became inconsolable. This prompted the officers to escalate their yelling.

“You better stop,” one yelled.

READ MORE: Maryland lawmakers approve $577M to settle HBCU lawsuit

Upon returning to the school, one of the officers says, “I mean, how do you learn that type of behavior at five?”

One can be heard saying, “You see, this is why people need to beat their kids.”

When one of the school employees tried to put the student on the phone with his mother, the child began to swipe at the phone, prompting one of the officers to scream at the child, “I wish you would! I wish you would slap that phone out her hand. Sit down!” When the child refused to sit in his chair, the officer grabbed the child and placed him in the chair.

After the mother arrived to the school, one of the officers handcuffed the child and placed his hands behind his back.

“You know what these are for? These are for people who don’t want to listen and don’t know how to act,” the officer said.

This January, the child’s mother filed a lawsuit against the Montgomery County Police Department, Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery County at large over the trauma inflicted on her son, as reported by WRC-TV.

The mother’s attorney James Papirmeister said that the officers “treated him like he was a common criminal.”

The school district made a statement about the incident after the video was made public.

“Our heart aches for this student. There is no excuse for adults to ever speak to or threaten a child in this way,” the statement read. “As parents and grandparents, we know that when families send their children to school, they expect that the staff will care for them, keep them safe and use appropriate intervention processes when needed.”

Currently, the two officers remain employed by the Montgomery County Police.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...