KEY WEST, Fla. (WSVN/CNN) - Civil rights lawyers are suing the police and school district in Key West, Florida, over their arrest of a crying 8-year-old boy who allegedly punched a teacher.
Police video of the 2018 arrest, posted on social media by the family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, shows officers lecturing the boy and escorting him out on a felony battery charge, which was later dismissed. An officer’s body camera shows officers trying out handcuffs on the 8-year-old before realizing they are too big.
“Do you know where you’re going? You’re going to jail, so you need to stand up and put your hands behind your back,” one of the officers is heard saying in the video.
Police say the arrest happened because the boy punched a teacher in the chest after refusing to sit properly in the school’s cafeteria.
The 8-year-old’s family says he has ADHD and a defiance disorder, both of which the school knew about, and it should never have come to this.
“It’s about the police officers and the school officials and the district attorney’s office who all thought that this is the way you handle disabled persons, that this is the way you handle young children,” attorney Devin Jacob said.
Crump says he’s preparing a federal lawsuit this week.
Key West Police Chief Sean T. Brandenburg said based on the report, his officers followed standard procedures and did nothing wrong.