Although President Donald Trump’s belligerence remains high on the agenda for many concerned about the future of the United States — there are other issues. This week in Washington, D.C., police brutality reared its ugly head yet again. A police officer was caught on camera chasing down and eventually handcuffing a crying nine year old boy. The incident reportedly was catalyzed by the boy… wait for it… “leaning up against a car,” according to D.C. police. Really, that’s all they’ve got.
In a follow-up with a local Fox affiliate, the local police department essentially tried to use the fact that juveniles commit crimes as justification for their actions. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Lamar Greene said:
‘We have juveniles that are involved in all sorts of different activities within the city. Certainly, we will get to the bottom of this.’
In other words — they had nothing seemingly even remotely specific sparking the apprehension of the freaking out young boy outside of the inescapable element of his race. The boy is black, while the officer who can be seen on camera placing the boy in handcuffs is white.
Understandably, the boy and his family were traumatized. Again, there is no indication that there was any sort of tangible indication that the boy was involved in anything inappropriate whatsoever. As the boy’s mother Autumn Drayton put it:
‘I was devastated. I was devastated. I was traumatized for my son having to go through that. His use of force was unnecessary. My son was not a threat. He was not committing a crime. He was not harming anyone. It should have never been to that.’
This is not the first time that D.C. police have been embroiled in a similar controversy. Just weeks ago, they took a ten year old black boy into custody while investigating a reported robbery that he ended up having nothing to do with. At least on that occasion, authorities themselves reached out to the child’s parent — this time, they made no such effort towards Drayton.
There are other available incidents suggesting a pattern of the D.C. police force profiling local black residents. In December, more than half a dozen officers stopped and frisked three young black boys who had done nothing to warrant scrutiny, and in February, they undertook a similar step, detaining a group of black children for almost an hour.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine says his office is now cooperating in a review of local police policies surrounding interactions with children. A spokesperson for his office shared:
‘This is an urgent priority for the Office of the Attorney General. In coordination with the Chief and the Mayor’s office, we are moving quickly to determine a timeline to assess MPD’s current practices and reach out to experts in the District and across the country.’
Although there are still some federal capacities to assist such reviews in place, the Trump administration dialed back what’s available soon after assuming power. On other occasions, Trump personally has rebuffed those concerned about such issues of discrimination, claiming, for instance, that NFL players peacefully protesting to bring attention to discrimination are “sons of bitches” who should be fired.
Featured Image via screenshot