Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine says his office is reviewing the district’s policies on how police interact with juveniles after a video surfaced this week of a police officer forcibly handcuffing a 9-year-old boy.
The video, which aired on WTTG, shows an officer chasing after a small boy who was leaning against a car and apparently talked back to the officer. Racine called the video “obviously concerning.”
It depicts the boy “being horse-collared by the officer,” DC Councilman Charles Allen told CNN. He said the video would cause “distrust and damage,” for the whole community’s relationship with law enforcement.
A spokeswoman for DC’s Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to CNN that “MPD officers were in the vicinity during their normal patrol, making contact with residents when the incident occurred. The nine year-old boy was not charged with any crimes. As with all use of force incidents, this is currently under internal investigation.”
She pointed to MPD’s general orders, posted on the department’s website, which discuss police procedures for handling juveniles.
MPD hasn’t released the name of the officer who made the arrest.
“Even if the officer complied with the procedures, this still happened,” Allen said.
In a letter addressed to the police chief and the deputy mayor, Allen wrote that it was difficult to “capture my visceral reaction to a small, young, African-American boy screaming as he struggles against handcuffs in the middle of the street.”
The video comes after a similar incident in March, in which a 10-year-old was arrested.
Allen wants to make sure these run-ins between cops and kids don’t keep happening.
He chairs the DC Council’s judiciary and public safety committees, and due to juvenile confidentiality laws in the district, could not discuss the child’s name or further details about the case.
Racine announced his office will take a number of steps, including surveying practices across the country to “identify best practices related to police interaction with children.”
Racine’s office will compare those findings with DC’s current methods and propose changes if necessary.
“We look forward to working together with MPD and the Mayor’s office to ensure District children are treated with the highest level of care and safety,” Racine said.