D.C. police arrested and handcuffed a 13-year-old at the Shaw-Howard University Metro Station, following an altercation and a scuffle between the boy and an officer.
A video showing the conversation between a passer-by and the policemen, while the child is in tears, was met with public backlash online.
The teen is claimed to have pushed a Metro transit policeman who stopped him for engaging in “horseplay” with another kid on the platform, as if they were fighting, Thursday night at around 10:00 p.m. The officer then arrested him for “assault.”
Part of the incident was captured on the cell phone camera of a Metro rider, who posted the video on Twitter, sparking harsh criticism from the general public, as well as rights groups such as the D.C. chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement.
So @MayorBowser @wmata @MetroTransitPD you all still allowing the terrorizing of Black kids on Metro? Metro cops just get to assault them however and whenever? Your silence and inaction is consent. THIS IS ON YOUR HANDS!
— BlackLivesMatter DC (@DMVBlackLives) February 8, 2020
The officers say that they thought the two boys may have been fighting.
“At the end of the day, this is a kid and you are two adults harassing him. He is a kid!” the person who shot the video is heard to be saying in the footage, addressing the two officers. “He committed horseplaying,” one of them says in response.
The officer then says that the kid was refusing to give his mother’s contact information, even though he was asked multiple times. They reportedly managed to get in touch with his mother afterwards and took him to the Children’s National Hospital after he complained about pain in his hands and back.
The Metropolitan Police Department, another unit, announced less than two weeks ago that it would stop handcuffing children who are aged 12 or younger.