Two parents in Texas say a school resource officer went way over the line in handcuffing their 10-year-old autistic son, according to an WFAA report from Friday. Body cam video proves the child was wronged, they argue.
“I see a little boy hiding,” said mother Emily Brown. “Not doing anything that’s an imminent serious harm to someone else.”
The Denton Police Department said that back in April, the officer got a call to a special needs classroom at Lee Elementary. There, the child was allegedly poking the other kids, and not doing what the teachers said.
As seen on video, the boy, Thomas, backed into a cubby. The officer picks him up and carries him to a cool down room. Thomas, struggling, is laid face down on the floor, the cop’s hand on the back of the child’s neck.
“Do you want the handcuffs?” the officer says. Thomas screams. “Yup,” says the cop. He applies the cuffs.
Dad Robert Brown said the boy was in that position and screaming for 12 minutes.
Police said the officer’s actions were justified because the child was danger to himself and others. There were no violations. But Thomas’ parents plan legal action. They said their son sustained bruises from the incident.
“There are a variety of deescalation techniques that they are supposed to be using,” Robert Brown said. Thomas’ advocate told the outlet that the officer used techniques that were against guidelines for children.
Thomas is being moved to a charter school. The officer continues to work in a middle school.
[Screengrab via Denton Police Department]