Police placed the child under arrest and tried to ‘cuff’ him but found that the handcuffs were too big for this little boy. He was handcuffed, taken to jail, fingerprinted, swabbed for DNA, and had his mugshot taken. (VIDEO OF THE ARREST BELOW).
The little boy, just 8 years old allegedly hit his teacher, so police were called into the Key West, Florida school.
This story took place in December 2018, but the public only got to see the police bodycam footage of this odd arrest this week. It was released by Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the child’s mother.
According to the police report, the teacher, a substitute, was uninjured. She allegedly asked the child to sit properly many times.
When he refused, she walked over to him, and the child said, “don’t put your hands on me.” He allegedly cursed at her and then punched her in the chest.
When the police moved to arrest the boy, he was sitting and crying. And one of the officers says to the child, “Son, you know where you’re going? You’re going to jail.”
The boy was asked to put his hands against the cabinet and was patted down by the officer. Then, the police officer asks the child to put his hands behind his back, where the officer attempts to handcuff the boy.
That’s where he realized that the handcuffs were too big — “your hands are too small.”
Another officer said, “You understand this is very serious, OK? I hate that you put me in this position that I have to do this. OK? Alright? The thing about it is you made a mistake, now it’s time to learn from it and grow from it, right? Not repeat the same mistake again, OK?“
The mother, Bianca Digennaro, filed a lawsuit claiming that excessive force was used by police and that school officials failed to intervene. The lawsuit also claims the boy has special needs and that both the city and school district were in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Watch the bodycam video of police arresting a special needs child at school…
She said her son was diagnosed with ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, and anxiety. He took medication for them, but when he starts to have an episode, he becomes sensitive to anyone touching him.
Key West Police say that the officers just followed standard operating procedures.
The child’s mother held a Zoom press conference yesterday. She said her son was handcuffed, taken to jail, fingerprinted, swabbed for DNA, and had his mugshot taken.
And, he was charged with felony battery! The child’s case was fought in a courtroom for 9 months!
Finally, a prosecutor dropped the charges only after conducting a mental health evaluation on the boy.
Crump said, “This is a heartbreaking example of how our educational and policing systems train children to be criminals by treating them like criminals — if convicted, the child in this case would have been a convicted felon at eight years old. This little boy was failed by everyone who played a part in this horrific incident.“
Unfortunately, those who should be held accountable — the school and the Monroe County School District, would not comment. As for the teacher, she was not able to be reached.