A video shows a 12-year-old boy being manhandled, with his head bagged, by Sacramento Police
Weeks after the video was taken, and days after it went viral, Sacramento Police say they will review the arrest of a 12-year-old African-American boy who had a bag placed over his head during a 25-minute struggle with police.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the video was shared by Black Lives Matter Sacramento and led to outrage online, as viewers try to understand why police were arresting the kid in the first place as well as why he wasn’t simply released to his mother, who was standing nearby.
The incident allegedly took place on April 28, when two police officers spotted a security guard running after the child. They apprehended the boy, who tried to wiggle away and who allegedly spit in the officers’ faces. At the same time, onlookers from the carnival recorded with their phones and asked why the police were arresting such a young kid, who didn’t, to anyone’s knowledge, break any laws. The bystanders also asked for the officers’ names and badge numbers.
During the course of the video, the officers handcuff the boy, force him onto the pavement of a parking lot, and place a “spit bag” over his head, as bystanders get increasingly upset. While using a spit bag is standard procedure for adults resisting arrest, it’s controversial to use on a 12-year-old.
During the video, the private security guard says that the child is being handcuffed because he was asking customers to buy him food at a nearby Walgreens. According to the family’s lawyer, an adult chaperone asked the boy to get change from his car, and the security guard thought he was stealing from the vehicle. The child ran away when the officer asked for the car keys.
According to a police spokesperson, the boy was released to his mother after being cited for battery against a police officer and resisting officers – and no other crimes.
Tanya Faison, Sacramento Black Lives Matter founder, believes the police “should all be held accountable,” and that, “Our police should know how to handle a tiny, 12-year-old boy.”
The family of the boy have already enlisted civil rights attorneys, the Crump Law Firm, which is also handling another Black Lives Matter case in Sacramento – that of Stephon Clark, a man who was shot in his grandmother’s back yard in 2018. He was unarmed, and the police who shot him were not charged.
The Crump Law Firm has already released a video regarding the 12-year-old’s arrest.
“I am here to say one thing and one thing only: we are not going to tolerate our community, and particularly our young people, being treated the way this young man was treated,” he said.
“We want to make sure that the greater Sacramento community, the state of California and the world is aware of what happened to this young man, who was doing nothing more than trying to enjoy the benefits of a neighborhood carnival,” he continued.
“The kid’s a good kid. He’s a small, slight kid, he’s under 4-foot-8 and he weighs less than 80 pounds,” he said. “He’s a little bitty kid. None of this should have come down the way it did.”
As the case is under investigation, settlement talks are also underway between the police and the family’s attorney.
This and the Stephon Clark case are not the only Black Lives Matters incidents that Sacramento is dealing with currently. The city and the California State Police are also facing a lawsuit regarding Marshall Miles, a 36-year-old African American man who died in jail after being restrained.