Police Handcuff, Fingerprint 9-Year-Old Girl, Detain Her for Over an Hour While She is Still Wearing Wet Bathing Suit
A 9-year-old Portland girl was arrested, handcuffed, fingerprinted, photographed, and charged with assault after a minor children’s fight at her school.
According to reports, the girl got involved in a fight between two other girls who were arguing because “one of them tattled on the other in school for drawing on a desk.” The girl tried to punch one of the other girls but they eventually were broken up, apologized to each other, and the 9-year-old was suspended from the Boys and Girls Club for a week.
Later that day, one of the girl’s mothers called the police about the incident, demanding the 9-year-old be arrested for leaving a bruise on her daughter’s face. A week later, the police followed up, sending officers David McCarthy and Matthew Huspek (pictured above) to the girl’s home.
According to The Daily Mail, “the officers wrote in their report that the grade-schooler gave ‘vague answers’ that were inconsistent with eyewitness accounts of the kids’ confrontation a week earlier, and that the child appeared to get angry when pressed for answers.”
The two cops decided to arrest the girl and charge her with fourth-degree assault.
The girl, wearing a wet bathing suit, was cuffed, driven to the precinct, fingerprinted, and photographed. She was detained without a parent present for an hour.
The girl’s mom, Latoya Harris, said “when they put handcuffs on, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, this has to be a joke. The look on my daughter’s face went from humiliation to fear, to a look of sheer panic.”
Chief Supervising Attorney for the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Juvenile Unit said “it was way over the top for them to do that.”
Executive Director of the non-profit organization Youth, Rights & Justice, Mark McKenchie, said “we really don’t think there’s circumstances where children under 10 should be taken into custody.”
The officers were cleared of breaking any departmental policies but Harris is now suing the Portland Police Department and the city has formed a panel to set specific guidelines for juveniles being taken into custody.