Montgomery County, MD — As the Free Thought Project reported, utterly infuriating, sickening, and disturbing footage was released 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. Now, three months later and lawmakers are finally making moves to hold cops more accountable in an effort to prevent future scenarios.
The incident took place last year but the footage from the officers’ body cameras was just released in March as part of a lawsuit brought on by the boy’s parents. For over a year the public had no idea cops were treating children like this.
“We didn’t find out about this until 14 months after the fact,” Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker said. “So of course we have to wonder, how often this may have happened in the past, and whether it will happen again in the in the future and we wouldn’t find out.”
In the video, police officers detain the boy because he allegedly acted out in school and then walked off campus.
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.
Hucker’s bill has several parts which seek to prevent future abuses. As WUSA 9 reports:
The bill would require the Montgomery County Police Department’s internal affairs division to notify the Police Chief immediately about any investigations involving children, discrimination, use of force, and other serious matters immediately.
The proposed bill would then require the chief to notify the County Executive and County Council within 24 hours.
Another requirement of the drafted bill is the Police Chief would be required to inform the State’s Attorney’s Office within seven days of becoming aware of a potential criminal offense by a Department employee.
The police department would also be required to provide certain investigative files and body-worn camera recordings to the County Executive and County Council within seven days if it’s requested.
“The main thing is we got to make sure we know what our officers are doing out there, and then if they’re doing anything wrong, it’s brought to our attention right away,” Hucker said.
“Accountability and ultimately public confidence in our police,” Hucker said the bill aims to do. “It’s not good for the police at all if the public is concerned about them and worries that they’re out harming children.”
And as the video below shows, cops were most assuredly “out harming children” and, according to Hucker, the chief knew about it and said nothing.
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 to 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.
“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.
For now, it has led to at least a proposal for change.