A body camera video released by a police department in Maryland has sparked outrage that showed two of its police officers berating a five-year-old boy at his school after he ran away from his teachers and was found on a street.
Among two police officers from the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) in Maryland, one was seen screaming in the distressed boy’s face while another putting him in handcuffs. They can also be heard calling the boy ‘a little beast’ and ‘a violent little thing’.
After he returned to the school, a female officer was telling the child that she hopes his momma let her beat you. The minor boy cried after the officer screams inches away from his face, Sky News reported.
The male officer puts the youngster in handcuffs with his hands behind his back during a meeting with the boy’s mother.
He said, ‘When you get older, when you want to make your own decisions, you know what’s going to be your best friend?”, before pointing the handcuffs at him. ‘Do you know what these are for? These are for people who don’t want to listen and don’t know how to act,’ the officer adds.
The officers are also heard talking to the boy’s mother about disciplining her son at home.
The mother says: ‘I can’t discipline him, because the government won’t allow you.’
“Yes, you can,” the female officer replies.
The mother says: ‘I spank him, but I can’t discipline him how I want to discipline him because of this. I’m not losing my child to the system and I’m not going to prison. I just want to show you all he is not being physically abused.’
“Who said he was?” the female officer asked. “We believe it’s the exact opposite,” the male officer says.
“Yeah, we want you to beat him,” the female officer adds.
The bodycam footage was released for the first time on Friday after the boy’s mother is reportedly suing the MCPD over the incident that took place in January.
The police department said in a statement it received a call from a staff member at the school about a “five-year-old child who had left the school grounds and did not wish to return”.
The MCPD said two patrol officers – which it did not name – responded to the call and a complaint was subsequently made about their conduct.
It said an internal investigation had concluded into the incident and the findings would remain “confidential”.
Both officers remain employed by the police department, it added.
People irked by the video called for suspending or firing the police officers while hundreds of people have signed a letter online demanding the action, according to the Silver Spring Justice Coalition group.