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Body Cam Footage: Cops Try Handcuffing 8-Year-Old

Attorney Benjamin Crump says he plans to file lawsuit
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2020 6:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – Handcuff an 8-year-old? Florida police tried it in 2018 but found the boy's wrists too small for the cuffs, NBC News reports. Attorney Benjamin Crump tweeted bodycam footage of the incident Sunday, which has already racked up 2.3 million hits: "Unbelievable," he writes, adding that Key West Police "used 'scared straight' tactics on 8yo boy with special needs. He's 3.5 ft tall and 64 lbs, but they thought it was appropriate to handcuff and transport him to an adult prison for processing!!" According to Crump, the boy was placed with a substitute teacher who didn't know about his special needs "and who escalated the situation by using her hands to forcibly move him."

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Police say trouble began when the teacher saw the boy sitting oddly at a lunch table and asked him to sit with her, per the Washington Post. The boy apparently said "Don't put your hands on me," and the teacher took him for walk, during which he cursed and punched her in the chest. But Crump says the boy has behavioral and emotional disabilities and should have been in the school's individualized educational program. Now Crump—who also represents George Floyd's family—plans to file a civil lawsuit against the officers involved. But police, who walked the boy out without handcuffs and charged him with felony battery, say they did nothing wrong: "Based on the report, standard operating procedures were followed," Key West Police Chief Sean T. Brandenburg tells the Miami Herald. (Read more arrest stories.)

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