Is it really that hard to not put handcuffs on black children? One would think that given report after report after report on cops handcuffing or otherwise using excessive force on black children as young as 8-years old, people in law enforcement would get the message that the practice is unnecessarily cruel.
And yet, here we are again.
11Alive reported that in Dekalb County, Ga on Wednesday night, police misidentified an 11-year old black girl as a suspect in attempted car theft, handcuffed her and put her in the back of a police car, according to the girl’s mother.
Cynthia Hendricks told reporters for 11 Alive that she is “livid” after officers’ treatment of her daughter London. She said cops came to her door around 7:15 pm and asked for her child by name. Hendricks said an officer told her that a teen girl about 16 years old and two teen boys tried to steal a car on the street she lives on and that her daughter’s name was given to them by a
snitch neighbor who apparently thought London fit the description (despite being 5 years younger than the described suspect).
Hendricks not only explained to the officers that her daughter couldn’t have been involved because she’d been home since 4 pm, she even provided the officers with video evidence from her Ring doorbell and other motion cameras from around the house as proof that London had entered the house and hadn’t left at the time of the alleged car theft attempt.
For whatever reason, the proof Hendricks provided failed to dissuade the officers from handcuffing and detaining her daughter.
“(The officer) placed handcuffs on my daughter, placed her in back of police vehicle with intent to transport her to juvenile detention,” Hendricks said.
She said it was only after the girl was sitting in the police cruiser that officers asked her daughter’s age and the color of clothing she was last seen wearing. Once officers heard her age, they were surprised to find out she wasn’t 16.
The girl was ultimately let go, but Hendricks said the situation left her fuming.
“I am beyond livid and disgusted at DeKalb County Police for, one, not bothering to ask my daughter’s age before traumatizing her, two, blatantly ignoring the fact that our surveillance cameras show that London did not exit the house whatsoever, and, three, not doing their due diligence before coming to my home to attempt to arrest my child,” she said.
11Alive reached out to the DeKalb County Police Department for a statement, but a spokesperson only told them it was “not made aware of any concerns,” and that they would look into the matter. Likely translation: “The police didn’t do shit wrong and we, in turn, won’t do shit about it.”