Georgia Cops Handcuff, Arrest 6-Year-Old Girl

Salecia Johnson accused of assaulting principal, damaging property

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 17, 2012 5:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – Georgia police have sparked controversy after they handcuffed and arrested a 6-year-old who school officials accused of assaulting the principal and damaging property. Police responded to an elementary school's call on Friday to find kindergartner Salecia Johnson having a tantrum on the principal's office floor, they said. When an officer tried to calm her down, she "began actively resisting and fighting," the police report said. "The child was then placed in handcuffs for her safety," said the police chief, according to CNN. "When a person is put in handcuffs, it's for their safety, it's not a punishment."

Johnson was "biting the doorknob of the office and jumping on the paper shredder"; she also threw furniture, hitting the principal in the leg, the report said. The girl was released to her aunt after her parents couldn't be reached. Speaking to reporters, however, Johnson's mother asked if there was "any other kind of intervention" that could have been used. "Call the police? Is that the first step?" asked Constance Ruff. Plans to press juvenile charges were dropped, police said, but Johnson has been suspended until August, according to her mother.

A screen grab from WMAZ video of an interview with Salecia Johnson and her parents.
A screen grab from WMAZ video of an interview with Salecia Johnson and her parents.   (WMAZ video)
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