Ky. Deputy Appears to Handcuff 8-year-old
A Kentucky sheriff’s deputy handcuffed two children with disabilities as punishment for their misbehavior at school, according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and others Monday.
The Washington Post reports that in the suit, the ACLU is asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky to declare the officers’ alleged handcuffing to be unconstitutional and a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit also seeks to force the Kenton County Sheriff’s office, housed just south of Cincinnati, to stop using “unnecessary and excessive physical restraint” on children.
The ACLU released the following statement in response to the incident:
“Shackling children is not okay,” Susan Mizner, disability counsel for the ACLU, said in a statement. “Using law enforcement to discipline students with disabilities only serves to traumatize children. It makes behavioral issues worse and interferes with the school’s role in developing appropriate educational and behavioral plans for them.”
A Kenton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said he was not aware of the lawsuit and declined to comment until he could review the complaint.
Video footage released by the ACLU shows a man identified as Kenton County Sheriff’s Deputy and school resource officer Sumner handcuffing an 8-year-old boy behind his back. The handcuffs were placed around the child’s biceps because he was too small to be cuffed at the wrists.
“Oh, God. Ow, that hurts,” the boy can be heard in the video.
“You can do what we ask you to or you can suffer the consequences,” the officer said.
According to school records, the boy was handcuffed for about 15 minutes. A portion of the video submitted along with the complaint shows the boy sitting in a chair in the handcuffs.
“It’s your decision to behave this way,” Sumner said, according to the complaint and a video submitted with it. “If you want the handcuffs off, you’re going to have to behave and ask me nicely.”
Watch the footage below.