Newly-released body camera footage shows police officers screaming at a kindergartener inches from his face, telling him his mother should hit him
Newly released video taken from January 2020 shows Maryland police officers screaming at a 5-year-old Black kindergarten student, inches from his face, calling him a “little beast,” and handcuffing him as he cries uncontrollably after he allegedly hit a teacher and walked away from school.
Body camera footage released Friday by the Montgomery County Police Department shows two officers grabbing the child and forcefully putting him in the back of their police car, while threatening to physically harm him. “Does your mama spank you? They need to spank you today,” one officer tells the boy while he cries. “I would have been beaten nine times before I got home. Don’t nobody want to hear that, ain’t nobody listening.“
Please be warned that this footage is difficult to watch.
The child was taken back to his school, East Silver Spring Elementary School, and put into a room with the officers, where they continued to yell at him. As the 50-minute video unfolds, the interaction between police and the child escalate. The boy is inconsolable while police scream at him that he is “bad” and should be beaten.
“I watched in horror as what can only be described as a nightmare unfolded for nearly an hour,” Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando said in a tweeted statement. “It made me sick.”
As the video continues, the child is still crying in a chair, and one of the officers leans down and screams into his face, trying to get him to stop crying. She can be heard calling him a “horrible little beast.”
The child’s mom finally arrives at school and the police officers tell her to hit him as punishment for his behavior — which amounts to crying because an adult is screaming at him incessantly — saying: “We want you to beat him.” Then, one of the officers pulls out a pair of handcuffs and puts them on the child, and said, “If somebody tells you to sit down and shut up, any adult, you better sit down and shut up. You know what these are for? These are for people who don’t want to listen and don’t know how to act.”
The boy’s mother filed a lawsuit earlier this year against Montgomery County, Montgomery County Public Schools, and the Montgomery County Police Department, NBC Washington reported. She is seeking compensation and justice for the child’s trauma stemming from the incident.
“Our heart aches for this student. There is no excuse for adults to ever speak to or threaten a child in this way,” Montgomery County school officials said in a statement. “As parents and grandparents, we know that when families send their children to school, they expect that the staff will care for them, keep them safe and use appropriate intervention processes when needed.”
The police department has launched an internal investigation after it received a complaint. Somehow, both officers are still employed.