Key West, FL — A video of an utterly disgusting display of the American police state was published by attorney Ben Crump last year showing a tiny child being frisked, handcuffed, and hauled off to an adult prison for processing. His crime — acting out in school.
Now, a year after the world saw this atrocity unfold, a federal judge ruled that officers did not violate the boy’s rights.
“The court cannot overlook the fact that — as depicted in the arrest video— Waite merely attempted to handcuff [the boy] for less than thirty seconds, causing no physical pain or injury,” U.S. District Court Chief Judge K. Michael Moore wrote in an 18-page order filed Monday.
“Waite then abandoned the effort and escorted [the boy] unrestrained,” Moore wrote. The officers explained to [him] why they were arresting him, speaking to him calmly and explaining the severity of his actions.”
But the judge completely ignored the fact that the child was 8.
“A mental health crisis at a school, and they feel it is appropriate to arrest, charge and have him become a convicted felon at eight years old,” Crump said after the lawsuit was filed last year.
In a post on Facebook, Crump released the video with the following description:
Unbelievable!! Key West Police used “Scared Straight” tactics on an 8 yr old 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. He’s so small the cuffs fell off his wrists!
This is NOT how you discipline a child with a mental disability!! We are working to get this little boy and his family the justice they deserve.
The fact that the tiny child was so small the handcuffs fell off of him speaks to the nature of this incident. It is nothing short of child abuse and the officers involved needed to be fired. Instead, they were cleared.
What’s more, anyone involved in setting this up or condoning an 8-year-old boy being hauled off to an adult prison for misbehaving in school also needs to be fired and potentially charged with child abuse. But this will not happen.
As the video shows, the little boy is sitting in the office when the two Key West police officers enter the room.
“So you know where you’re going?” the officer identified as officer Kenneth Waite asks the boy.
“You’re going to jail,” the other officer, Michael Malgrat, chimes in.
“Stand up and put your hands behind your back,” the cops say to the tiny child who should never hear those words from a police officer.
As the officer struggles to handcuff the child, and eventually gives up because his wrists are too small, the child asks where his daddy is. The cop callously tells him that he just left.
As the boy is walked out of the school, the cop then speaks to him using words like a child abuser would use — blaming the handcuffing and kidnapping on the child and not the ridiculous police state tactics they’re employing.
“I hate that you put me in this position…That you made me do this.” the officer says to the clearly distraught little boy.
He is then brought to the cruiser before the video ends. He was then brought to an adult prison and processed in — for allegedly misbehaving at school.
He was charged with felony battery for the incident at school. However, the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office chose not to prosecute the case.
While the “scared straight” tactics may be effective at curbing the criminal behavior of older teenagers, an 8-year-old boy lacks the cognitive ability to interpret this situation without anything but sheer horror. Add the boy’s mental disability to this situation and it becomes that much worse.
If anyone thinks this situation will be “good” for the boy’s behavior problem, they are severely mistaken. This incident will only add to his trauma and create anxiety and fear that could possibly lead to even worse behavior in the future.