Montgomery County, MD — Utterly infuriating, sickening, and disturbing footage was released over the weekend showing the nature of the expanding police state into schools. In the video, a five-year-old boy is detained, abused, handcuffed, and taunted by two Montgomery County police officers who have zero business possessing a badge and a gun.
The incident took place last year but the footage from the officers' body cameras was just released as part of a lawsuit brought on by the boy's parents. In the video, police officers detain the boy because he allegedly acted out in school and then walked off campus.
In what should have been a calm conversation and chat about the boy's poor decisions, morphed into a bully match in which the two cops appeared to want to out do each other on the level of abuse they could dish out.
The video begins when the officers pick up the boy near the school. From the get-go, the officers were angry and abusive, taunting the boy and daring him to act out.
"You feel like you can make your own decisions? Are you an adult? Are you 18? So why are you out of school?" a male officer can be heard saying to the boy in the video. "I don't care if you don't want to go to school. You do not have that choice, do you understand?"
He is then forced into the back of the cruiser and brought back to school. When the officers get the boy in the office, they repeatedly yell at him, shove him around, and threaten to beat him. He is five.
When the child starts panicking and crying when faced the abuse, the officers threaten him telling him that he "better stop."
"Does your mother spank you? … She's going to spank you today. I'm going to ask her if I can do it," the female cop tells the child.
The threats of violence appear to cause the child wo cry uncontrollably and he is then picked up by the male cop who shoves him into a chair.
"Shut that noise!" the female cop yells.
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"When you get older, when you want to make your own decisions, you know what's going to be your best friend? These right here," the male cop says while holding handcuffs.
"These are for people who don't want to listen and don't know how to act," the male officer says, putting a handcuff on one of the child's wrists and placing his hands behind his back. "Is that how you want to live your life?"
The boy is then put in handcuffs in front of his mother and the video ends.
This incident happened in January of 2020 and the boy's parents have since filed a lawsuit against the officers involved, the county, and the Montgomery County Board of Education. According to ABC, the suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and claims the child suffered "severe and extreme emotional distress" following the incident.
The officers' conduct is described as "malicious, grossly negligent, reckless and in deliberate disregard of the emotional stress it would inflict on the child,” in the court document.
"Our client, Shanta Grant, brought this lawsuit on behalf of her then five-year old son in an effort to get justice and fair compensation for the trauma he endured. She also hopes that the incident will lead to changes in policy and training, both with the school and the police," Matthew Bennett and James Papirmeister, the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, told ABC News.
Naturally, the police union is diverting blame from the officers and chocking it up to a lack of training when dealing with children.
The Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 also released a statement: "It is clear, that the event and everything that has come after the event should have been handled better by all involved. It's important to note that unless an officer is assigned to a specialized unit, Montgomery County police officers do not receive training on how to effectively communicate with a young child in distress."
Montgomery County Public Schools Board President Brenda Wolff and Superintendent Jack Smith said in a statement Friday, "Our heart aches for this student ... There is no excuse for adults to ever speak to or threaten a child in this way."